New orders received by German manufacturing companies, especially from abroad, fell in February, official data showed on Tuesday, suggesting that a weak global recovery continued to weigh on Europe's biggest economy.
Adjusted for seasonal swings, German manufacturing orders decreased by 1.2 percent in February from January, said German federal statistics office Destatis.
In February, domestic orders increased by 0.9 percent, while foreign orders decreased by 2.7 percent. Demand from other countries in the eurozone slumped by 3.7 percent, according to Destatis.
"Incoming orders in the manufacturing sector developed slowly at the year beginning," said the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs in a statement, "This reflects not least the current sluggish development of the global economy."
However, the ministry forecast a "moderate upward trend" in industrial activity, referring to business sentiment which brightened recently.
Economists were more cautious about the economic outlook. Experts at research consultancy firm Capital Economics said the drop of orders in February showed that the increase of industrial production in January was a "one-off."
A weak February figure of industrial output was expected to be reported on Wednesday.