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German Exports Unexpectedly Rose for a Second Month

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Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- German exports unexpectedly rose for a second month in August, indicating Europe’s largest economy is weathering the sovereign debt crisis.

Exports, adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, jumped 2.4 percent from July, when they gained 0.4 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists forecast a 0.6 percent decline, according to the median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports rose 0.3 percent from July.

“The resilience of the German economy and exports in the face of the crisis keeps on surprising,” said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING Group in Brussels. “The safety net is getting thinner and the economic outlook is quite subdued, but we don’t believe in a recession.”

Germany’s economy is losing steam as governments and consumers across Europe reduce spending, damping demand for German goods. Business confidence fell to a 2 1/2 year low in September and factory orders declined more than economists forecast in August. Still, exports to nations outside Europe are helping to compensate, while rising wages and unemployment at a two-decade low have helped to bolster domestic demand.

Exports to other euro-area countries fell 3.1 percent in August compared with a year earlier, while shipments to non-European Union countries were 13 percent higher, today’s report showed.

Germany’s trade surplus narrowed to 16.3 billion euros ($21.2 billion) in August from 16.9 billion euros in July, today’s report showed. The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, was 11.1 billion euros, down from 11.7 billion euros a month earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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