German industrial orders fell in November for the first time since July, data showed today, easing slightly after a strong run as Europe's largest economy enjoys robust form. 

German factories registered a 0.4% drop in orders. November's reading from the Federal Statistics Office confounded expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.5% rise. 

Contracts for 'Made in Germany' goods climbed by a revised 0.7% in October, an upward revision from a rise of 0.5% previously reported. 

Economists said "the decrease comes after three consecutive increases and is rather of a technical nature than any sign of weakness. 

"With inventories low and capacity utilisation at its highest level since 2008, there is little reason to get concerned," he added. "The general trend for industrial production in Germany remains positive." 

Germany is enjoying strong domestic demand helped by record-high employment, rising real wages and low borrowing costs while its exporters are benefiting from a global economic recovery. 

Last month, the Ifo economic institute said the German economy will expand by 2.6% in 2018, pointing to a broad upswing that is generating employment and buoyant tax revenues. 

Last week official data showed retail sales surged more than expected in November and were estimated to have risen sharply in 2017 overall, boosting hopes that private consumption helped growth in Germany last year.