German exports back in top gear in September: official data

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The German export machine was back in top gear in September, after two months of slowdown, official data showed on Monday boosting further the German trade surplus which helps to underpin the euro.

German sales abroad rose by 3.0 percent in the month to 84.3 billion euros (118 billion dollars), adjusted initial data from the statistics office Destatis showed.

At Goldman Sachs investment bank, Dirk Schumacher commented: "The data for external trade are volatile from month to month but the figures for September are in line (with the outlook) for strong continuing growth of exports."

At ING bank, economist Carsten Brzeski said that despite action to hold down state budgets in other countries in the eurozone and the slowdown in world demand, products "made in Germany"' continued to sell very well.

This trend was not likely to slowdown soon, he said.

Compared with the data for September last year, German exports have surged by 22.5 percent.

Last year Germany was overtaken as the biggest exporter in the world by China. So far this year it has exported goods worth 703.2 billion euros.

In September, imports fell by 1.5 percent in the month to 68.7 billion euros.

Consequently the balance of trade for the month showed an increased surplus, taking the surplus so far this year to 114.0 billion euros, or an increase of 16.5 percent from the equivalent figure last year.

Meanwhile, the balance of payments on current account, the broad measure of all current payments into and out of the country including payments for trade, services and financial transfers, showed an increased surplus of 85.7 billion euros so far this year from 75.7 billion euros at the same time last year.

The trade surplus in Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is an underlying strong point for the eurozone, but is also a matter of concern in that, together with the payments surplus, it demonstrates divergence of economic performance among eurozone countries and notably with France.

The German surplus has been rising since the end of last year on the back of recovery throughout the world economy.

This activity has pushed the German economy ahead. The government is expecting gross domestic product to grow by 3.4 percent this year.

© 2010 AFP

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