German factory orders fell sharply in April as a slump in foreign demand highlighted the impact on Europe's biggest economy of a slowdown in global trade.
Monthly industrial orders contracted by a more-than-forecast 2 % in April after bounding ahead by an upwardly revised 2.6 % in March, the German Ministry of Economics said on Monday.
Order books shrunk 0.5 % from April last year.
The fall in April was more than four times the 0.5 % decline predicted by analysts. The ministry had previously estimated the April increase at 1.9 %.
Leading the drop in April was a 4.3% drop in foreign orders after demand from outside the Eurozone plunged by 8.3 %.
Orders from Germany's key Eurozone trading partners rose by 2.5 %.
Domestic orders were up a solid 1.3 % in April, the ministry said.