Exports down by 23.1 percent

Exports down by 23.1 percent
Photo: DPA
Germany posted a 23.1 percent drop in exports in February from the same month in 2008, provisional data released Wednesday by the National Statistical Office (Destatis) showed.

Imports declined by 16.4 percent, the Destatis office said.

Germany – the world’s biggest exporter last year – thus showed a trade surplus of €8.7 billion ($11.5 billion) in February, compared with €17.1 billion in February 2008, the statement added.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an average trade surplus of €7.4 billion.

In January, German exports had already fallen by 23 percent, Destatis said, revising an intitial estimate lower.

The biggest drop in exports was seen in trade with other European Union members, which recorded a fall of 24.4 percent, while exports to non-EU countries were down by 20.6 percent.

German corporate investment and household consumption have failed to make up for the sharp drop in trade, and authorities have acknowledged that Europe’s biggest economy will contract by more than the current forecast of 2.25 percent this year.