BERLIN - German industrial orders, a key measure of demand for goods in Europe's top economy, fell by nearly 4% in January, far more than expected, data showed Thursday.
After a strong increase the previous month, industrial orders dropped by 3.9% in January, the economy ministry said in a statement.
Analysts polled by FactSet had penciled in a decline of 1%.
Demand both at home and abroad fell, with domestic orders 2.5% lower compared to a month earlier and export orders declining by 4.8%.
German industry had received an unusually high number of big orders in December which was not repeated the following month, the ministry said.
Christian Schulz, of Berenberg bank, said the fall was the biggest since August but this time around was unlikely to trigger concerns about the German economy, partly because fears over the Ukraine crisis have faded.
"Confidence has rebounded, the domestic economy and, in particular, consumption have resumed robust growth," he said.
"The Greek situation poses a new risk, but has been contained by the February 20 deal at least for now and has so far failed to make noticeable impact on the wider Eurozone anyway," he added, referring to Athens' agreement with creditors on a bailout extension.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015