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German Machinery Orders Down 29 Percent

Domestic machinery and factory equipment orders for the month were 29 percent below October 2008 levels, their 13th consecutive decline.

FRANKFURT (AP) -- German machinery and factory equipment orders posted their 13th consecutive drop for October, but improved on past months, the industry group VDMA said Wednesday.

Domestic machinery and factory equipment orders for the month were 29 percent below October 2008 levels, while international orders were 28 percent below year-ago levels, the group said.

In September, orders for both domestic and international markets were 33 percent lower.

The group, based in Frankfurt, said for the three month period of August-October, orders were down 35 percent overall compared with the same period in 2008.

It said the latest data suggest an improvement in the market but added the situation was still far away from a turnaround, calling it "stabilized at a low level."

"The development is standing on wobbly legs ... but we have made a start," Ralf Wiechers, the VDMA's chief economist said in the report. "The strong, deep fall of orders domestically and internationally could finally be stopped."

The sector posted its steepest yearly drop of 58 percent in April 2009, while in October 2008 showed the smallest decline with 16 percent fall in orders.

Germany's export-dependent economy technically emerged from a deep recession in the second quarter, but the country's companies and workers still face slack demand and rising unemployment.

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