BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's economy defied the eurozone gloom as official figures released Tuesday showed industrial orders rose strongly for a second straight month.
Orders for goods from Europe's biggest economy grew 2.2 percent compared with the previous month. February's level was revised down 0.1 percentage points to show a 2.2 percent rise, too.
"Today, it is really difficult not to use superlatives for describing the latest German new orders data," said Andreas Rees, chief German economist at UniCredit Research in Munich.
Rees noted that some big ticket items such as orders for new Airbus planes contributed to the rosy figures, but that the overall trend was balanced.
"Both domestic and foreign demand was up strongly, thereby putting the German economy on a solid footing," he said in an analyst note.
Orders were particularly strong from Germany's 16 euro partners, up 4.2 percent on the month, while those from outside the eurozone rose 1.9 percent. Domestic orders increased 1.8 percent.
The figures augur well for Germany's first quarter economic growth estimate, due next week. Most economists expect Europe's biggest economy returned to growth and avoided falling into recession, technically defined as two straight quarters of negative growth.
By Tuesday afternoon, Germany's DAX blue chip index had reached a new record high and was closing in on 8,200 points.