Factory orders in Germany, Europe's largest economy, drop on weak domestic demand

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Giant oil tanks of the BP refinery are pictured under a blue sky in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 as oil prices are still low. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) (The Associated Press)

German factory orders fell more than expected in November, hurt by a drop in demand domestically and from non-eurozone countries.

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The Federal Statistical Office reported Thursday that industrial orders were down a seasonally-adjusted 2.4 percent in November over the previous month. Analysts had expected a 0.8 percent decline.

Foreign orders were down 0.7 percent overall, after eurozone orders rose 2.7 percent but those from non-euro countries dropped 2.6 percent. Domestic demand dropped 4.7 percent.

After two previous months of strong increases, however, UniCredit economist Andreas Rees says there is no reason for panic, noting orders were still up 0.9 percent over the last three months over the previous three-month period.

He says "the most important message is that we have to be a bit more patient."