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German exports drop sharply in July as industry stutters

Associated Press Associated Press 9/09/2016

BERLIN — German exports fell sharply in July, in another sign of weakness from Europe's largest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office said Friday that July exports dropped by a monthly 2.6 percent to 97.1 billion euros ($109.7 billion) in seasonally adjusted terms, while imports fell 0.7 percent to 77.7 billion euros. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed to 19.4 billion euros.

In unadjusted terms, exports were down 10 percent over July 2015.

Following a drop in industrial production reported earlier in the week, ING economist Carsten Brzeski says the data confirms "the former powerful engine of the German economy — industry — is stuttering."

He says "a further cooling of the economy in the months ahead should give more support to just-started discussions about fiscal stimulus."

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