Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 12:06 UK

Germany's trade surplus falls 43%

Cars being made
Motor vehicles are Germany's biggest export

Germany's trade surplus fell 43% in August after a drop in exports from Europe's biggest economy, according to the national statistics office.

Germany exported 8.1bn euros (£7.45bn;$11.95bn) more goods than it imported in August, down from 14.1bn euros in July.

The fall in exports was the first for four months and had not been expected.

Exports were down 20% compared with the same month of 2008 while imports were 19.3% lower.

Dirk Schumacher from Goldman Sachs said the figures were "disappointing" but would recover soon.

"We are just seeing a pause, not the start of a period of stagnation," he said.

But the figures have also been taken as an indication that a strong recovery in the three months from July to September will be difficult to achieve.

"A strong third quarter will be harder to reach than expected," said Carsten Brzeski from ING Financial Markets.

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