German Manufacturing Orders Rise

FRANKFURT—German manufacturing orders rose more than expected in December, driven by a surge in demand from outside the euro zone, in the latest sign that Europe’s largest economy may yet avoid recession despite the euro zone’s debt crisis.

New orders rose 1.7% on the month in adjusted terms, after slumping by a downwardly revised 4.9% in November, data from the economics ministry showed Monday. Experts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an increase of 1% in December.

While German orders data are “very volatile”, the latest figures “seem to suggest that factory activity has not collapsed,” even after German economic growth moderated in the fourth quarter “as demand from abroad was hit by the global slowdown,” said Annalisa Piazza, a strategist at Newedge in London. “If anything, a slight pick-up is expected in the first quarter of 2012,” she said.(more)