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Feb 5, 2:30 AM EST

German factory orders down more than expected in December

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BERLIN (AP) -- German factory orders declined slightly more than expected in December, dragged down by lower demand at home and in other eurozone countries.

The Economy Ministry said Friday that orders were down 0.7 percent compared with the previous month, more than the 0.5 percent drop economists had forecast. That followed two months of solid gains.

Orders from inside Germany were down 2.5 percent and demand from other eurozone countries dropped 6.9 percent. However, orders from outside the euro area increased 5.5 percent.

The government recently trimmed its growth forecast for the German economy, Europe's biggest, to 1.7 percent this year from 1.8 percent amid concerns over weakening growth abroad and global political tensions. The economy grew by 1.7 percent last year.

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