German Industrial Orders Rise 1.4 Percent

BERLIN (AP) -- German industrial orders rose 1.4 percent on the month in August, an increase that was powered by stronger foreign demand and beat economists' expectations, government figures showed Wednesday.

The August increase was the sixth consecutive month-on-month rise, and the Economy Ministry said that industrial orders have now recovered about a third of the ground they lost during the crisis. It beat economists' forecasts of a 1.1 percent climb and suggests the economy is picking up.

Still, it compared with a larger increase in July of 3.1 percent -- itself revised downward from an initial reading of 3.5 percent. The number of large industrial orders was below average for the month in August, according to the Economy Ministry.

Orders from abroad increased by 4.6 percent -- led by those from outside the euro zone, which rose by 5.9 percent. Orders from Germany's 15 partners in the euro zone were up only 2.8 percent.

Domestic orders were down 1.9 percent, following a very strong increase in July that was fueled in part by military equipment orders from the government.

Consumer goods orders were a weak point in August. They were down 3.8 percent overall, with domestic demand unchanged but foreign orders dropping by 7.4 percent.

Germany's export-dependent economy was hit hard by the global economic crisis, but returned to modest growth in the second quarter. Economic indicators such as business confidence are rising.

Total industrial orders in July and August were up 5.8 percent over the previous two-month period, Wednesday's data showed.

The Economy Ministry said that can be expected to translate into an increase in industrial production in the third quarter.

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