Exports power German growth as retail sales fall
German exports jumped in November, data released Friday showed, as strong global demand helped to offset the economic uncertainty in Europe triggered by the region's debt crisis, DPA reported.
The national statistics office said exports from Europe's biggest economy rebounded from a 1.3-per-cent fall in October to rise by 0.5 per cent in November.
The month-on-month increase follows a fall in the euro and strong demand from leading emerging economies. The rise was in line with analysts' forecasts.
After stagnating in October, imports grew by 4.1 per cent in November. This resulted in the seasonally adjusted trade surplus narrowing to 11.8 billion euros (15.5 billion dollars), from 14.2 billion euros in October.
Year on year exports from Germany, which is the world's second biggest export nation after China, surged by 21.7 per cent in November to 88 billion euros. Imports soared by 33.3 per cent to hit a record 75.1 billion euros.
Meanwhile, a 2.4-per-cent fall in retail sales month on month in November raises fresh doubts about the outlook for private consumption in the country.
Economists had hoped that last year's steady improvement in the jobs markets combined with the prospects of higher wage settlements would encourage private spending.
This in turn would help to broaden the nation's recovery from the 2009 recession to include a pickup in private consumption.
Still, the statistics office said it expects retail sales to grow by about 1.5 per cent in 2010. This is after growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of between 1.3 and 1.6 per cent during 2009.
Retailers also reported buoyant sales during the key Christmas shopping period.
November retail sales rose by 2 per cent compared with the same month in 2009.