Germany’s exports have marked their biggest fall since the global financial crisis reached its peak in 2009, raising fears that Europe’s largest economy might slide into recession.
Germany’s Federal Statistical Office said Thursday that exports slumped by 5.8 percent for the month of August.
Moreover, imports dropped by 1.3 percent in seasonally adjusted terms, the office added.
“We are no longer growing…. We have had too little investment in Germany for years now,” said Volker Treier, the chief economist at the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).
The statistics office attributed much of the decline in both exports and imports to late-falling summer vacations in some German states.
Germany’s trade surplus steadied at €17.5 billion in August, dropping from €22.2 billion in July and less than forecasts at €18.5 billion.
Economy experts are predicting another contraction for Germany for the third quarter, which would technically be labeled a recession.
The downturn suggests Germany will fail to support the economy of the eurozone, which registered no growth in the second quarter.
The debt crisis in Europe has forced the European Union governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.
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