Rising foreign demand boosted Germany's key mechanical engineering sector in March, the VDMA industry federation said Wednesday.
The manufacture of machine tools is a key driver of German industry and exports.
In March, overall incoming orders rose by 4% compared with the same month a year earlier, VDMA said in a statement.
Domestic orders inched 1% higher and export orders jumped by 6%, VDMA added.
Making a three-month comparison to iron out short-term fluctuations, VDMA said overall orders rose by 2% in the period from January to March.
Foreign orders increased by 3% in the first quarter, while domestic orders slipped by 2%, VDMA calculated.
"Exports set the pace again in March, while domestic orders rose only slightly," said VDMA's chief economist Ralph Wiechers.
Nevertheless, the sector had not experienced a real upturn just yet.
"The low exchange of the euro is not yet having a real effect," Wiechers said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015