Industrial orders in Germany dropped sharply in November as demand from abroad dropped _ nearly erasing a strong gain from the previous month.
Orders were down 4.8 percent compared to the previous month, the Economy Ministry reported Friday. In October, orders rose 5 percent _ a figure that was revised downward from the initial reading of 5.2 percent.
The decline was the largest monthly drop since January 2009 but UniCredit economist Andreas Rees said it was less a "harbinger of a nasty recession" than giving back some ground after October's "tremendous rise."
"There is no reason to get overly concerned about the state of the German economy, or even to become panicky," Rees said. "As a matter of fact, exactly the opposite is true for German industrial companies as indicated by forward-looking sentiment indicators in the last few weeks."
According to the report, foreign orders were down 7.8 percent on the month in November while orders from inside Germany _ Europe's biggest economy _ declined 1.1 percent.
The sharpest month-on-month drop was in orders for investment goods such as factory machinery, which fell 6.5 percent.
On a less volatile quarter-on-quarter basis, the ministry says figures so far show orders in 2011's final three months were "slightly under" the level of the third quarter.