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Germany Exports Grow Unexpectedly; Imports Remain Flat

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German exports expanded unexpectedly despite trade conflicts and global slowdown, while imports remained flat in October, official data revealed Monday.

Figures from Destatis showed that exports grew 1.2 percent on a monthly basis in October, confounding expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent. However, the monthly growth eased from 1.5 percent in September.

At the same time, imports remained unchanged from September, when it advanced 1.2 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent drop.

As a result, the trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 20.6 billion from EUR 19.2 billion in September.

On a yearly basis, exports growth eased sharply to 1.9 percent from 4.6 percent in September. Meanwhile, imports declined 0.6 percent, in contrast to a 2.2 percent rise a month ago.

The trade surplus increased to an unadjusted EUR 21.5 billion in October from EUR 18.7 billion in the same period last year. And the current account balance showed a surplus of EUR 22.7 billion versus a EUR 20.3 billion surplus in the previous year.

Exports to euro area dropped 0.9 percent, while imports from those nations gained 0.1 percent. On the other hand, shipments to non-euro area increased 1.7 percent and imports from those nations fell 0.7 percent.

With disappointing consumption and industrial data but encouraging trade data, the economy will remain on a windy road between contraction, stagnation and meager growth, Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist, said.

Another report from Destatis revealed that labor costs grew 0.9 percent in the third quarter, taking the annual growth to 3.1 percent.

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