German manufacturing orders slumped in December, led by a sharp drop in orders from outside the eurozone.
The Federal Statistical Office said Wednesday that total manufacturing orders declined 1.6% from November, while economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.3% rise.
Commenting on the weak result, the economics ministry said "the dry spell in German industry" appears to be continuing.
"Recent sentiment indicators also point to subdued industrial activity at the start of the year," the ministry said.
Compared with December 2017, German manufacturing orders dropped 7.0%, taking into account calendar effects, according to the statistics body.