Germany economy CRUMBLING: Exports and imports FALL in biggest drop in 12 months | City & Business | Finance

Germany economy CRUMBLING: Exports and imports FALL in biggest drop in 12 months | City & Business | Finance 46

The largest economy in Europe has been dented in recent months by a slowing world economy, trade disputes and Brexit uncertainty. The latest in a string of poor data to come out of Berlin, the Federal Statistics Office said seasonally adjusted exports were down by 1.3 percent on the month. This marks the biggest drop in 12 months, while imports fell 1.6 percent. The trade surplus edged up to €18.7 billion (£16.1 billion) from a revised 18.6 billion euros the previous month.

Carsten Brzeski from ING said: “There simply seem to be too many crises in global trade for the German export sector to defy all of them at the same time.”

The German economy has come under the radar in recent months on fears of a long-term expansion coming to an end, leading to the top economic institutes in the country slashing their growth forecast for 2019.

In a damning report released last week, the growth forecast was downgraded to 0.8 percent from a previous estimate of 1.9 percent.

The report warned how a hard Brexit, if Britain should leave the European Union with a deal in place, would further damped the prospects of the German economy.

It read: ”The long-term upswing of the German economy is over.”

However, the news was not all bad with the economic researchers forecasting a strong increase in growth in 2020.

The report is predicting gross domestic product (GDP) for Germany to increase by 1.8 percent for next year.

Data released last weak showed German industrial orders fell by the biggest margin in more than two years in February.

However, industrial output rose slightly more than expected in the same month as mild weather helped a surge in construction.

Germany is in its 10th year of economic expansion, but narrowly skirted a recession at the end of last year and posted its weakest growth rate in five years in 2018.

The German government will update its growth forecast later this month.

In January, Berlin said it expected the economy to grow by 1.0 percent this year.

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