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German exports witness steepest fall in two years
From:Xinhua  |  2017-08-08 21:26

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BERLIN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Germany recorded its biggest monthly drop in exports in nearly two years in June, according to figures released on Tuesday.

After witnessing growth for five consecutive months, exports fell by 2.8 percent in June compared to May, according to Germany's Federal Statistical Office. The slump exceeded economists' expectations of a slight decrease and constituted the biggest fall since August 2015.

Imports fell even further by 4.5 percent during the same period, the worst figure since January 2009.

In total, German firms sold goods worth 107.2 billion euros (126.58 billion U.S. dollars) in June which still marked a slight increase of 0.7 percent year on year. Trade with other Eurozone countries grew by 2.7 percent, further underlining the bloc's strengthening economic recovery. Exports to countries outside the European Union such as the United States and China fell by 1.7 percent.

Adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, German exports exceeded imports by 21.2 billion euros (25.03 billion U.S. dollars) - the biggest trade surplus since August 2016.

Germany has been criticized internationally, including by U.S. President Donald Trump, for its large and long-lasting current account surpluses. The Washington-based International Monetary Fund has warned that the German trade balance suggests insufficient domestic investment which could harm growth in the longer term.

Germany continues to boast high productivity by international standards, however, and the simultaneous fall in imports and exports in June may indicate a gradual reorientation of the economy towards domestic consumption.