Germany boosted by rising factory orders

HAMBURG, GERMANY - OCTOBER 03: The German flag flys in the harbour infront of the Michel church during the German Unity day celebrations in October 3, 2008 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

BERLIN German industrial orders increased in December, suggesting business is beginning to pick up in Europe's largest economy.

The Economy Ministry said Wednesday orders were up 0.8 percent over November, according to seasonally adjusted figures. That comes after a 1.8 percent decline in November.

Orders from within Germany dropped 1.2 percent, but orders from abroad were up 2.4 percent. Significantly, orders from the other 16 nations that use the euro currency were up 7 percent, despite the fact that several are in recession, while non-eurozone orders dropped 0.4 percent.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the data adds "clear evidence that the German industry has reached a turning point.''

He added, "While the inventory reduction is still continuing, order books have started to fill again."