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Business

German Trade Surplus Shrinks

German exports slumped in August, raising fears that the economy's main pillar might be shaky, official data showed Friday. Exports fell to €56.3 billion ($69.5 billion), a drop of 1.4 percent from July, according to seasonally corrected figures released by the federal statistics office. Imports also slowed, but by just 0.1 percent to €45.2 billion. The German trade surplus thus narrowed to €11.1 billion from €13.6 billion in July, the statistics office said. Analysts were expecting a surplus of €10.5 billion, according to the UBS bank. The surplus came to €108.8 billion from January to August, up from €85.4 billion in the same period last year. Germany's current account, a broader measure of foreign trade that includes goods, services and certain financial transactions, showed a surplus of €0.9 billion in August against €1.7 billion in July. But the fall in exports was bad news for the eurozone's biggest economy, which relies on foreign orders more than others and which posted second-quarter growth of only 0.5 percent. (AFP)