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Originally published Friday, April 5, 2013 at 3:16 AM

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German industrial orders rebound in February

Industrial orders in Germany rebounded in February, a promising sign for first-quarter growth in Europe's biggest economy after an unexpected drop the previous month.

The Associated Press

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BERLIN —

Industrial orders in Germany rebounded in February, a promising sign for first-quarter growth in Europe's biggest economy after an unexpected drop the previous month.

The Economy Ministry said Friday that orders increased 2.3 percent compared with the previous month. In January, they dropped 1.6 percent - a figure that was revised upward from the initial reading of 1.9 percent.

Demand increased across the board despite a below-average number of large orders. The ministry said orders from other euro area countries rose 1.6 percent and those from other nations were up 2.7 percent. There was a 2.2 percent increase in orders from inside Germany.

The German economy is widely believed to have returned to growth in the first quarter after shrinking by 0.6 percent in the October-December period.

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