[FRANKFURT] Strong demand for German-made goods from eurozone neighbours offset a drop in domestic orders in May, key factory orders data showed on Wednesday.
"Low domestic orders and from non-eurozone countries were made up for by high levels of orders from eurozone countries," the economy ministry said in a statement.
Factory orders were unchanged in May from April in seasonally-adjusted terms, the ministry calculated.
Domestic orders fell by 1.9 per cent, while foreign orders rose by 1.4 per cent, with non-eurozone business slipping by 0.3 per cent, while orders from within the eurozone jumped by 4.0 per cent.
The figures showed a "below average" level of big-ticket orders, the economy ministry said.
In terms of sector, semi-finished goods saw a sharp fall of 2.9 per cent compared with the figure for April, while consumer goods also slid by 0.4 per cent.
Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING Bank, rejected the economy ministry's analysis that the figures pointed to "solid progress" in the indicator.
"Since the start of 2015, new orders have been decreasing by an average of 0.1 per cent" each month, Mr Brzeski said. "Demand from outside the eurozone remains weak." "The trend is obvious: German industry is treading water."