Germany sees slump in industrial 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 - Government data show that industrial orders in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, were down 1.3 percent in August compared with the previous month - a decline led by slacker demand at home.

The Economy Ministry said Friday that the drop followed a slight 0.3 percent gain in July. That figure was revised downward from the initial reading of 0.5 percent.

Germany is seeing slower growth this year following two years of robust increases in output. Business confidence has slipped for five months in a row, reflecting worries about the impact of Europe's debt crisis.

The Economy Ministry says the monthly decline was led by a 3 percent fall in orders from inside Germany. Foreign orders were flat despite a 2.4 percent increase in demand from other nations in the 17-country eurozone.