Germany delivered an unexpectedly weak international trade performance during July 2016, according to the latest official data.
The new figures from Destatis showed that seasonally adjusted exports fell 2.6 per cent compared to the month before, confounding the estimates of analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecast of a 0.25 per cent increase.
Meanwhile, imports fell by 0.7 per cent, which was also weaker than the predicted 0.8 per cent rise, while the country's trade surplus dropped to €19.4 billion, marking the first time since 1992 that this figure has declined for four consecutive months.
The weak performance during July has been attributed to the ongoing weakness of the global market, as the German economy is typically powered by its historically strong international trade capabilities.
A particularly large decline in exports to countries outside the EU such as China was observed, as the benefits previously generated from the relative weakness of the euro is starting to fade.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski said: "A further cooling of the economy in the months ahead should give more support to just-started discussions about fiscal stimulus."