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German exports drop 5.2 percent on month in August, with smaller decline in imports


BERLIN — Official figures show German exports dropped 5.2 percent in August from the month before, in a further sign that growth in Europe's largest economy may be slowing.

Despite the decline, the Federal Statistical Office said exports were 5 percent higher than a year earlier.

The agency said imports fell a monthly 3.1 percent and that as a result Germany's trade surplus narrowed to 19.6 billion euros ($22.1 billion euros) from 22.8 billion euros.

Thursday's foreign trade figures follow disappointing August factory orders and industrial production figures.

ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski said there was "no reason to panic" and pointed to large export and industrial production declines in the same month last year as a result of the timing of summer vacations. The German economy "should rebound" in September, he said.

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