Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Slowdown hits Germany's exports

German car
German car makers prepare for 'challenging' times

The global economic slowdown has drastically reduced the worldwide demand for German goods, government figures have shown.

Orders for goods produced by the world's largest exporter fell 8% between August and September.

It is the steepest fall since the reunification of west and east Germany in 1990.

Recession is looming for the German economy where output shrank during the second quarter.

A country is considered to be in recession when it has suffered two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Rescue package

According to the economy ministry in Berlin, orders from outside Europe fell 11.4%, while domestic orders also dropped 4.3%.

"The fall in orders experienced since December 2007 is accelerating. As a result prospects for industrial production remain gloomy for the coming months", the ministry said in a statement.

The industrial data was released a day after the German government approved a package of measures aimed at pouring 50bn euros (40bn) worth of investment into the economy in 2009 and 2010.

In October, parliament passed a 480bn euro rescue package in an effort to stabilise the country's troubled banking system.

A number of major German corporations, including carmakers Daimler and BMW, have issued severe profit warnings describing the economic conditions as 'challenging'.

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