German factory orders beat forecasts, up strongly in October

German factory orders were up a far stronger-than-expected 4.9 percent in October compared with the previous month, led higher by orders for cars and vehicle parts.

The figure released by the Economy Ministry on Tuesday compared with economists' forecast of a modest 0.6 percent gain. The increase followed a 0.3 percent decline in September — revised upward from the initial reading of a 0.6 percent loss.

The ministry said that, while bulk orders were below average for October, there was a 7.2 percent increase in orders for investment goods such as machinery. Demand for cars and vehicle parts was up 10.5 percent.

Orders from inside Germany rose 6.3 percent, as did those from countries outside the eurozone. Demand from other eurozone countries was flat.

Germany has Europe's biggest economy.