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German Exports Post Annual Decline in October, Trade Surplus Contracts

Hopes for higher German export activity in October were dashed on Friday when fresh data showed the biggest annual decline in the value of goods dispatched to European Union (EU) member states and countries outside the shared currency union since July.

Long seen as Europe's powerhouse with the largest economy in the region, the fortunes of Germany are often viewed as a bellweather for the health of the Eurozone, which has struggled to shake off the shackles of the financial crisis with weak inflationary growth across the region. Economic growth has slowed in Germany in recent quarters with gross domestic product (GDP) falling from 0.7% in the first quarter to 0.4% in the second and 0.2% in the third quarter.

Exports form a key part of the nation's economy, worth 46.9% of total GDP in 2015, according to data from the World Bank, but the latest decline in exports on an annual basis marks the fourth drop so far this year, and bucks two consecutive months' of annual increases.

German exports of goods were worth 101.5 billion euros ($107.78 billion) in the month of October, 4.1% lower than one year ago and the biggest annual decline since July, when annual exports fell by 10%, according to data published by German federal statistics agency Destatis.

Broken down by destination, 59.7 billion euros of goods were dispatched to EU member states, down 4.5% year-on-year, while 41.8 billion euros of goods were shipped to countries outside of the EU, 3.4% lower than one year ago.

In tandem with the release of the export figures, the latest reading of the nation's foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 19.3 billion euros in October, down from 21.7 billion euros in the corresponding month of the prior year, according to Destatis.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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