German industrial orders increased in December, suggesting business is beginning to pick up in Europe's largest economy.
The Economy Ministry said Wednesday orders were up 0.8 percent over November, according to seasonally adjusted figures. That comes after a 1.8 percent decline in November.
Orders from within Germany dropped 1.2 percent, but orders from abroad were up 2.4 percent. Significantly, orders from the other 16 nations that use the euro currency were up 7 percent, despite the fact that several are in recession, while non-eurozone orders dropped 0.4 percent.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the data adds "clear evidence that the German industry has reached a turning point."
He says: "while the inventory reduction is still continuing, order books have started to fill again."