Business

German exports in second monthly fall

VW cars wait to get loaded onto transport ships at the Volkswagen car factory Emden
Image caption A strong euro makes Germany's exports - such as VW cars - more expensive outside the euro zone

German exports fell in August for the second month in a row, the Federal Statistics Office has said.

Exports fell by 0.4% in the month, while imports were up by a bigger-than-expected 0.9%.

Analysts are concerned that the recent strengthening of the euro against the dollar could harm the eurozone's economic growth.

World financial leaders are gathering in Washington for the meeting of the IMF and World Bank.

The gathering, which begins on Friday, also involves the G7 group of leading industrialised nations.

Currency values are expected to be the hottest topic among them.

China is being told by Europe and the US that its currency is kept artificially low, something that makes its goods cheaper to the rest of the world.

Growth impact

The euro has strengthened considerably this year.

ING financial markets analyst, Carsten Brzeski, said: "Since early June, the euro has gained more than 16% against the US dollar. No doubt about it, a stronger exchange rate will eventually have an impact on exports and growth."

Exports have been the main driver behind Germany's recovery from the credit-crunch lead downturn.

Its economy grew by 2.2% in the second quarter of the year, its fastest rate since reunification, but most observers do not expect that growth rate to continue for the rest of the year.

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