New orders for German industrial firms fell in November, official data showed Monday, continuing a run of weak data for Europe's powerhouse.

Fresh contracts fell 1.3 percent month-on-month, federal statistics authority Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures, down from a 0.2-percent increase in October and short of analysts' expectations for slight growth.

Excluding volatile large orders for items like aircraft, the picture was slightly rosier, showing a 1.0 percent increase in business.

But in a year-on-year comparison, new orders were 6.5 percent below November 2018's level.

"In recent months, industrial orders have stabilised at a low level," the economy ministry in Berlin said in a statement, noting that the total over October and November 2019 was little changed from the previous two months.

"At the same time, business expectations in industry have picked up somewhat," meaning "the outlook for industrial activity has improved," it added.

German industrial orders were down 6.5 percent on an annual comparison in November
German industrial orders were down 6.5 percent on an annual comparison in November AFP / INA FASSBENDER

US-led trade wars, especially with major German trading partner China, sapped growth and strewed uncertainty in manufacturing firms' path over much of 2019.

But robust consumer demand at home helped the eurozone heavyweight avoid recession, and prospects of a preliminary Beijing-Washington deal later this month have brightened surveys of business leaders' mood.

Looking in more detail at the industrial orders data, makers of producer goods saw slightly more new contracts, while demand at consumer goods firms was flat and capital goods companies' orders fell 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile orders from both eurozone and non-eurozone countries fell by more than three percent, with domestic demand growth the only improver, adding 1.6.

"Instead of a turnaround, the drought in order books and the manufacturing slump is getting worse," said ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski.

"There are still no signs at all of a bottoming out for German industry. Instead, the free fall continues," he added, noting that in 2018-19 the country was on track for the first two years of shrinking orders in a row since 2001-02.