German trade activities slow down | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.08.2012
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German trade activities slow down

German exports and imports have contracted amid the eurozone debt crisis and a worsening trade environment globally. On a year-on-year basis, though, things don't look that gloomy at all for Europe's biggest economy.

Trading activities in Europe's economic powerhouse, Germany, went down sharply in June, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Wednesday.

After soaring by 4.2 percent in May, exports in June dipped by 1.5 percent, which was more than most analysts had penciled in. Imports fell even faster, dropping 3.0 percent after surging by 6.2 percent in the previous month.

The June trade figures added to economists' concerns that Europe's biggest economy was in the process of losing momentum during the second quarter of 2012.

No cause for panic yet

But the slump in trade only became obvious in the month-on-month comparison. Statistical data looked much more positive on a year-on-year basis, with exports of German goods growing by 7.4 percent when compared to June 2011.

Although shipments to fellow eurozone nations dropped by 3.0 percent, foreign orders to the US as well as the world's leading emerging economies, including China and Brazil, jumped by a staggering 19.8 percent from last year's levels. Germany thus remains the second-largest exporter after China.

The German trade balance widened to 17.9 billion euros ($22.2 billion) in June, up from 15.6 billion euros in the month before.

hg/tj (dpa, dapd)