German exports down 3.4 percent in November

German exports slide 3.4 percent lower in November compared with previous month

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- Economic weakness in Europe dragged down the amount of exports from Germany, the region's biggest economy, in November.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that exports — a traditional strength of the German economy — dropped 3.4 percent. Adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, they totaled €89.6 billion ($117 billion). Imports were down 3.7 percent at €75.1 billion ($98 billion).

Growth in Germany slowed in 2012 after two strong years, but the economy is expected to pick up after a weak fourth quarter and continue growing in 2013.

Compared with a year earlier, exports were unchanged in November. A 5.7 percent decline in exports to other countries in the 17-nation eurozone contrasted with a 5.6 increase to nations outside the European Union.

Germany's exporters predicted last month that foreign trade will reach record levels in 2013.

The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services said exports will rise by up to 5 percent in the coming year and hit €1.158 trillion.

German exports have benefited from the low value of the euro compared to other currencies, and strong demand for their goods in the United States and emerging economies like China.

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