German Exports Fall As Euro Zone Demand Shrivels

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German exports slid in September at the fastest pace since late last year, hit by declining demand among its crisis-wracked euro zone trading partners, Reuters reported. Imports also fell, adding to evidence that the crisis is inflicting a heavy toll on the currency bloc's largest economy. The trade figures come after a string of disappointing data for Europe's economic powerhouse. Business sentiment has worsened, the private sector has contracted, joblessness has risen and industrial orders have fallen at their sharpest rate in a year. "The debt crisis has arrived in Germany: At year-end 2012, weaker demand from abroad comes on top of uncertainty that has weighed on investments since the summer of 2011," said Andreas Scheuerle at Dekabank. Imports fell 1.6 percent and exports declined 2.5 percent, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Thursday, undercutting forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists for declines of 0.1 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus narrowed to 17.0 billion euros from 18.1 billion in August. The consensus forecast was for it to narrow to 16.8 billion euros. For a long time Germany's economy seemed impervious to the euro zone's troubles, but it is now succumbing. Read more.