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Trade surplus rises despite recession

AFP · 9 Dec 2008, 08:50

Published: 09 Dec 2008 08:50 GMT+01:00

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Germany, the world's largest exporter, saw its trade surplus grow to €16.4 billion ($21.1 billion) in October from €15 billion in September, according to figures from the Destatis statistics service.

Analysts had forecast a trade surplus of €14.4 billion.

Exports, the country's economic backbone, rose 2.9 percent in October on a monthly basis to €89.7 billion while imports gained 1.7 percent to €73.4 billion, Destatis said.

When corrected for seasonal and calendar variations, the trend was less positive, with a 0.5 percent decrease in exports on a monthly basis and a 3.5 percent increase in imports.

The current account surplus, the broadest measure of trade and other transfers, slipped to €15 billion in October from €15.4 billion in September, according to provisional figures supplied by the German central bank.

The figures were somewhat at odds with other German economic data which shows the economy slumping heavily.

Industrial output weakened again in October, falling a much worse-than-expected 2.1 percent from September, economy ministry figures showed Monday.

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Meanwhile, most German automakers, who are key exporters, have said they will cut production at the end of the year to compensate for weaker global sales.

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