Orders from other euro-area nations dropped 13.9%. However, demand from inside Germany was up 1.4% and orders from other countries rose 2.1%. The ministry said that, excluding bulk orders, the overall decline would have been a more modest 1.3%.
Germany's economy has grown for 10 consecutive years but last year's 0.6% growth was the weakest since 2013. Fourth-quarter figures haven't yet been released, but officials estimated last month that the economy grew slightly compared with the previous quarter.