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German exports rise by less than expected in October

German exports rose by less than expected in October but foreign trade still gave Europe’s largest economy a boost at the start of the fourth quarter as it struggles to avoid slipping into a double-dip contraction. Seasonally adjusted exports rose 0.8% on the month after an increase of 2.3% in September, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday. Imports rose 0.3% after an upward revision in the prior month’s figure to an increase of 0.2%.

The trade surplus expanded to 18.2 billion euros. Economists polled by Reuters had expected exports to rise by 1.2% and imports to increase by 1.0%. The trade surplus was predicted to come in at 18.0 billion euros. On the year, exports to China rose by 0.3% in October, while those going to the United States fell by 10.5% and those to the United Kingdom dropped 11.7%. The German economy grew by 8.5% quarter-on-quarter from July through September after plunging 9.8% in the second quarter during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has unleashed an unprecedented array of rescue and stimulus measures to help companies and consumers, including incentives to buy electric and hybrid cars. The trade figures chimed with data released on Monday that showed industrial output surged in October, in a sign that the export-oriented manufacturing sector helped the economy get off to a solid start in the fourth quarter. Sentiment surveys and high-frequency data such as truck toll mileage have also pointed to relatively strong manufacturing activity in November despite a partial lockdown imposed to slow a second wave of coronavirus infections.

German exports rise by less than expected in October, Reuters, Dec 9

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