Surprising analysts who had expected an increase amid signs of a timid recovery in the eurozone's largest economy, German industrial orders fell 0.5% in June on a monthly basis. Analysts had forecast a 1.4% rise in orders.
It was the second monthly fall in a row after orders had contracted by 1.5% in May.
"The vitality of orders has weakened in recent months," the economy ministry said in a statement. It blamed the start of the summer holiday period in the highly industrialized state of North-Rhine Westphalia for the dip.
Orders for consumer goods fell 4.2% after climbing 2.4% in May. Domestic orders decreased 4.5% against a 3.9% fall in foreign orders.
The German government foresees economic growth this year of 1.6% growth after 1% in 2005.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006