German Trade Surplus Unexpectedly Widens, Industrial Outputs Falter
Germany’s trade surplus unexpectedly rose to 13.9 billion-euros as exports rose for the third straight month in July, and the rebound in foreign demands encourages an improved outlook for the region as Europe’s largest economy emerges from its worst recession in over half a century. Exports increased 2.3% from June amid expectations for a 1.2% rise, while imports held flat during the month, and trade conditions are likely to improve throughout the second-half of the year as global policy makers take unprecedented steps to stem the downside risks for growth and inflation. At the same time, industrial outputs slumped 0.9% in July amid expectations for a 1.6% rise, while the annual rate of production fell 17.0% from previous year, which exceeded forecasts for a 15.8% drop. The mixed data suggests that the recovery may be slower than expected as policy makers anticipate growth prospects to remain subdued going into 2010, and the rise in the jobless rate may hamper the outlook for future policy as households continue to face a weakening labor market paired with tightening credit conditions.
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