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Germany

German exports drop slightly in August, but confidence remains

German exports were down in August, the country's statistics office said, amid signs that global trade was slowing. Overall though, the economy is in better shape than this time last year.

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Germany exported fewer goods in August

Official data from Germany's statistics office showed Friday that exports slipped 0.4 percent in August compared to the previous month, which was a slightly bigger drop than expected, but experts remain confident.

"Today's drop should still rather be seen as a correction after the strong second quarter than a new trend," ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said.

The value of exports from Germany, the world's second biggest exporter after China, came to 75.1 billion euros ($104.9 billion) in August.

August was the second consecutive month that Europe's biggest economy shipped fewer goods abroad, after a 1.6 percent drop in exports in July.

The downward trend followed months of growth. Strong exports helped the German economy grow by 2.2 percent in the second quarter of this year.

"After the growth sprint in the second quarter, the German economy has now throttled a bit and is cruising along" Brzeski said.

Export growth despite strong Euro

The euro has been climbing sharply against the US dollar, but the strong currency has had a limited effect on exports, said UniCredit economist Alexander Koch

"The comfortable orders backlog indicate continuing solid export growth at least until the end of this year," he added.

Imports, meanwhile, rose a modest 0.9 percent in August to 66.1 billion euros, which was more than expected. In July, imports fell by 2.2 percent.

The August figures signaled a drop in Germany's trade surplus to 4.6 billion euros, almost half of the July figure of just over nine billion euros.

But compared to last year, the figures still look encouraging, with exports up 26.8 percent on the year. Insolvencies are also down 9.4 percent from last year, with just under 14,500 bankruptcies reported in July 2010.

Author: Natalia Dannenberg (dpa/AP)
Editor: Nicole Goebel

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