German industrial orders surged far more than predicted in December, recovering from a sharp drop the previous month and hitting their highest level since April 2008.
"Although the outlook for German industry still looks mixed at the moment, there are increasing signs that we'll see an economic upturn in the spring," said Thomas Gitzel, chief economist at VP Bank.
Of the increase in orders, he said: "The weaker euro should ensure that this isn't just a flash in the pan but rather the start of a solid upward trend."
The increase was driven by rises in both foreign and domestic demand. Euro zone demand grew particularly strongly.