German exports record surprise gain in December

09:57, February 10, 2010      

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Germany's exports climbed unexpectedly by 3 percent in December, the fourth consecutive monthly gain, signaling that foreign trade would be the driving force for the country's crisis-hit economy in 2010, the official statistics authority said on Tuesday.

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported that Germany exported commodities worth 69.0 billion euros (97 billion U.S. dollars) in December, up 3.4 percent year-on-year, the first monthly record which was above the level of the same month a year earlier since October 2008.

Analysts had predicted exports in December would hold steady. However, the rebounding trend indicated that Germany's main economic engine was ignited. Some experts said the largest economy in Europe would start its catch-up journey as global demands of German goods were expected to rally in 2010.

German imports dropped 6.5 percent year-on-year to 55.5 billion euros in December 2009, compared with the same period of 2008, Destatis said. The country's trade surplus narrowed to 13.5 billion euros in December from 17.2 billion euros in November.

Despite some rebounding signs in December, Germany's total exports in 2009 plunged 18.4 percent and imports down 17.2 percent, compared with the previous year. "This was the highest decline recorded in foreign trade in relation to both imports and exports since 1950," the Destatis report said.

Germany's overall economy contracted 5 percent in 2009. As foreign trade became active since September, the government said it expected the economy to grow 1.4 percent this year.

Source: Xinhua
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