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Business

German exports log monthly gain, but can't convince pundits

Fresh statistical data have revealed that exports by German companies continue to stay below analysts' expectations this year. A real boost is needed to meet full-year targets, but markets remain fragile.

With the global growth engine still stuttering, German shipments abroad were found to be too low in volume to meet ambitious targets set earlier this year.

Official data released by the National Statistics Office (Destatis) showed exports grew by 1 percent in August from the levels recorded a month earlier, following a 0.8-percent drop in July. But the gain was smaller than the bulk of economists had penciled in.

The problems became even more obvious in a year-on-year comparison. Germany exported goods to the tune of 85.3 billion euros ($115.7 billion) in August, marking a 5.4 percent drop from the results registered for the same month a year earlier.

Lagging behind

As a result of the protracted debt crisis in the 17-member eurozone, German shipments to that particular area decreased by 4.1 percent, with exports to the wider 28-member European Union dipping by 3.9 percent.

Shipments to nations outside the EU dropped by even 7.2 percent year-on-year as growth slowed in a number of emerging countries. The World Bank on Monday again revised down its growth outlook for China and East Asia.

Despite the rather sober start to 2013, Germany's foreign trade industry group, BGA, expected full-year exports to rise by 3 percent. However, in the first eight month of 2013, they dropped by 1.1 percent.

hg/rc (dpa, Reuters)