German exports hit by global slowdown in demand

German exports have seen the biggest month-on-month fall in a year. Brexit worries, trade conflicts and lower demand globally have played roles in the drop.

German exports fell by 1.3% in February compared with the month before, the Federal Statistics Office said on Monday. The figure represents the biggest drop in export revenue in a year.

The exports head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Volker Treier, told Reuters news agency things had "run out of steam" for the moment, adding that there was little hope of them changing in the next few months. However, Treier said that the situation could look up in the not-too-distant future owing to the relatively weak euro, which is currently trading at around $1.12.

Read more: German economic growth to drop to 1%

Economic uncertainties

Year-on-year, however, the value of German exports was 3.9% higher than in February last year, totaling €108.8 billion ($122.3 billion). Imports grew to €90.9 billion, 5.1% higher than in February of last year, resulting in a trade surplus of €17.9 billion.

Economists say that uncertainties surrounding Britain's exit from the EU, the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China as well as weakening demand for industrial products are weighing on economies across the world. 

"There simply seem to be too many crises in global trade for the German export sector to defy them all," commented economist Carsten Brzeski of ING bank.

Germany's economy relies heavily on exports and is therefore highly susceptible to global fluctuations in demand.

Read more:Brexit to cost billions in income losses across Europe 

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Business | 02.04.2019

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tj/ng (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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