BERLIN, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Strong demand from euro zone countries and domestic customers drove a bigger-than-expected rise in German industrial orders in August, suggesting factories will contribute to growth in Europe's biggest economy in coming months.
Contracts for goods 'Made in Germany' were up by 1.0 percent on the month, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday. That compared with a Reuters consensus forecast for a rise of 0.2 percent.
Domestic demand rose by 2.6 percent while foreign orders inched down by 0.2 percent. However, demand from euro zone countries rose by 4.1 percent, nearly offsetting a drop of 2.8 percent of contracts from outside the common currency bloc.
The data for July was slightly revised up to a rise of 0.3 percent from a previously reported increase of 0.2 percent.
"Industrial orders have been weak so far this year, but they recently picked up slightly," the ministry said, adding that Ifo's latest business sentiment survey and Markit's purchasing manager survey both signalled an improvement.
"Overall, the latest data point to a light upturn in the industrial sector over the rest of the year," the ministry added. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Joseph Nasr)