BERLIN (AP) -- German machinery and factory equipment orders continued to drop while overall bankruptcies are rising, two reports showed Tuesday, in signs that Europe's largest economy is still struggling.
The Federal Statistical Office said German bankruptcy courts reported 14,180 new filings in October, up 6.7 percent over the same month the previous year.
From January to October 2009, the courts registered 135,517 insolvencies, up 4.1 percent over the same period from 2008.
Meanwhile, the industry group VDMA said machinery and factory equipment orders fell for the 14th consecutive month in November -- by 12 percent from a year earlier.
For the September through November period orders were down 25 percent over the same period the year before, the Frankfurt-based group reported.
VDMA chief economist Ralf Weichers said the results showed, however, that the downturn in the industry appeared to be easing.
In October, orders were down 29 percent over the same month from 2008.
"The order results from November confirm our prediction that the strong decrease in machine orders is coming to an end," he said.
The sector posted its steepest yearly drop of 58 percent in April 2009, while in October 2008 showed the smallest decline with a 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.
Full-year GDP figures for 2009 are being released on Wednesday. The government has predicted a 5 percent decline, which would be by far the worst economic performance since World War II.