German industrial orders defied analysts forecasts by gaining 1.8 percent in June, official data showed on Thursday. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected industrial orders in the biggest European economy to decline by 1.2 percent after recent signs of weakness. The economy ministry revised the figure for May lower however, to a gain of 1.5 percent from its initial estimate of 1.8 percent. In June, Germany received \"a larger than average volume of big foreign orders for investment goods\" which are used to make finished products, an economy ministry statement said. Its data showed a rise of 13.7 percent in foreign orders from June 2010, while domestic orders fell 10.8 percent. That marked a reverse from the figures in May which showed a drop of 6.0 percent and a rise of 10.7 percent, respectively. While the figures are often volatile, a look at the second quarter as a whole showed an increase in orders of 3.2 percent from the first three months of the year. \"Globally, industrial demand remains oriented higher,\" the ministry said, offering \"positive\" perspectives for industrial production. The latest eurozone purchasing managers index has nonetheless indicated that the German economy is now slowing sharply, putting its level in July at a 21-month low. Chancellor Angela Merkel has forecast growth this year on a comparable level with that of 2010, when activity expanded by 3.6 percent. The Bundesbank central bank expects growth of 3.1 percent, while the International Monetary Fund sees 3.2 percent.