EUROZONE ON THE BRINK: Germany imports PLUNGE to lowest level since 2009, figures show

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

GERMANY’S trade activity slowed abruptly in June, according to new figures that could plunge the Eurozone into further turmoil.

Tue, Aug 8, 2017

Exports from Europe’s biggest economy fell by 2.8 per cent, the biggest drop since August 2015, the Federal Statistics Office said.

Adding to Germany’s woes, imports plunged by 4.5 per cent in the same month, the biggest drop since January 2009.

The shocking data, released earlier today, drove the country’s seasonally adjusted trade surplus to a 10-month high of €21.2billion (£19.2bn).

The figures will embarrass Chancellor Angela Merkel, who widely expected to win a fourth term in a national election next month.

She is campaigning on a platform of economic stability, as well as increased spending on infrastructure, defence and security.

Her government is now likely to face pressure boost spending on investments as a way to support the economic recovery in other countries.

Officials expect Germany’s economy to grow 1.5 per cent this year, down from 1.9 per cent in 2016, which was the strongest rate in five years.

Construction and state spending have already provided most of the growth impulse, along with consumption.

This has been supported by the low interest rate environment created by the European Central Bank (ECB).

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