FRANKFURT -- Falling export orders hurt Germany's key mechanical engineering sector in February, despite a slight increase in domestic orders, the industry federation said on Wednesday.
Incoming orders were unchanged in February compared with the same month in 2012, the VDMA association said, with domestic orders rising by 2%, while export orders fell by 1%.
"Domestic orders showed a small plus, thanks to a big-ticket order. Foreign business was hit by weakish demand from the euro partner countries, while orders from non-euro countries stagnated," said VDMA chief economist Ralph Wiechers.
Taking a three-month comparison to iron out short-term fluctuations, overall orders rose by 1% in the period from December to February, with foreign orders up 2%, while domestic orders declined by 1%, VDMA calculated.
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