Healthy domestic demand fuelled a bigger than expected rise in German industrial orders in November, data showed today, providing further evidence that Europe's biggest economy gained momentum at the end of last year. 

Contracts for 'Made in Germany' goods were up 1.5% on the month, the economy ministry said. 

This was the second consecutive monthly rise compared with a Reuters consensus forecast for a rise of 0.1%. 

"After declining industrial orders in the third quarter, the impression of a subdued upturn in the manufacturing industry is becoming clearer," the ministry said. 

"The sentiment indicators for industry are also sending positive signals," it added.

Domestic demand was up 2.6%, compared with a 0.6% rise in foreign orders. 

Analysts said that the shift of the German economy towards more domestic activity is probably the theme of 2015. 

With record low inflation, record high employment, record low unemployment, strong consumption and the surge in domestic orders, the year 2015 marks the successful transition towards more balanced growth, they added. 

A 0.2% increase in November retail sales also pointed to strengthening domestic demand after a 0.1% decline in October. 

The rise in domestic demand helps traditionally export-oriented Germany better weather a slowdown in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.