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German trade surplus narrows as economy stumbles

Germany’s trade surplus narrowed sharply in April after data released on Friday raised fresh concerns about the outlook for Europe’s biggest economy.

While exports slumped by 0.3 per cent in April following a 1.8-per-cent gain in March, monthly imports jumped by a stronger-than-forecast 2.2 per cent, rebounding from a 0.3-per-cent contraction in March, the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) said. 

Analysts had expected only a 0.6-per-cent rise in imports. The contraction in exports was in line with forecasts. 

The gain in imports over exports produced a trade surplus of 20.4 billion euros (20.04 billion dollars) in April, which was significantly lower than the 24.7 billion euros reported in March.

At the same time, industrial production sank in April by 1 per cent after posting an upwardly revised 1.7-per-cent growth in March, Destatis said. 

But year on year, industrial production gained by 2 per cent. 

Source: dpa

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