Exports down to record low in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 08.04.2009
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Exports down to record low in Germany

German exports for the month of February have plummeted to their lowest level since 1950, following a similar decline in January. The drop means Europe's largest economy will contract more than expected.

A crane carries a cargo container in Frankfurt

The biggest drop in exports was in trade with other EU members

According to the latest figures published on Wednesday by the Federal Statistics Office, exports fell 23.1 percent to just under 65 billion euros in February, compared to the same period last year. This follows a similarly precipitous drop of 23.2 percent in January.

The two-month decline is the worst since World War II. Imports also dropped 16.4 percent to 56.2 billion euros compared to a year ago.

Exports to European Union countries were particularly hard hit, slumping 24.4 percent to 41 billion euros in February, while exports outside the EU fell 20.6 percent for the month to 23.8 billion euros.

As the world's largest exporting nation, Germany has been severely affected by fluctuations in the global economy. German corporate investment and household consumption have failed to make up for the sharp decline in trade.

The government has acknowledged that Europe's biggest economy will contract by more than the current forecast of 2.25 percent this year and possibly as much as seven percent.

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