German factory orders fell more sharply in May than economists had expected after their strong rebound the previous month.
Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, dropped 1.7pc after rising by 3.4pc in April, the Economic Ministry announced.
Export orders inside the 18-nation eurozone were down by 1.2pc, and domestic orders by 2.5, while demand within the eurozone increased by 5.7pc.
Ministry officials said the drop would have been twice as bad without a 16.3pc boost in eurozone demand for investment goods, driven by a small number of big-ticket bulk orders.
The figures will add to worries over the health of the European economy, with a general decline in euro manufacturing and IMF warnings of a “stalled recovery” in France.