German exports plunged in November to record their biggest fall in nearly two decades, new data shows, as the deepening world economic downturn hits Europe's biggest economy.
The drop in exports will lead to job cuts, companies say
The Wiesbaden-based national statistics office said Thursday, Jan. 8, that the world's leading exporter posted in November a month-on-month 10.6 percent drop in exports when adjusted for working days and seasonal factors.
This was the biggest fall in German exports since the launch of new records following the nation's unification in October 1990.
The drop in exports, which was far more than the roughly 3 percent predicted by economists, adds to signs of the tough economic year facing Germany as a recession takes hold in the global economy.
Moreover, the evidence that an economic slowdown is gaining momentum in Germany and Europe is likely to add to the pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates again when it meets in Frankfurt next week.
In the meantime, leading German companies have announced cuts in production and layoffs as they face up to what could be the nation's biggest economic slump since the end of the Second World War.
On an annual basis, German exports dropped by 12 percent in November, while imports recorded a steep 5.6-percent month-on-month decline and a 0.9-percent fall on the year.
The country's trade surplus narrowed to 9.7 billion euros ($13 billion) from 16.4 billion euros in October.