German industrial orders gain a surprise 1.8%

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German industrial orders defied analysts forecasts by gaining 1.8 percent in June, official data showed Thursday.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected industrial orders in the biggest European economy to decline by 1.2 percent given recent signs of weakening.

The economy ministry revised the figure for May lower however, to a gain of 1.5 percent from its initial estimate of 1.8 percent.

The latest eurozone purchasing managers index showed that the German economy is slowing sharply, putting its level in July at a 21-month low.

In July, Chancellor Angela Merkel forecast growth this year on a comparable level with that of 2010, when the economy expanded 3.6 percent.

The German central bank expects growth of 3.1 percent while the International Monetary Fund sees 3.2 percent.

© 2011 AFP

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