German export figures demonstrated an unexpected downward trend in February 2018, suggesting Europe's largest economy may be entering a period of less pronounced growth.
Data from the German Federal Statistics Office indicated that seasonally adjusted exports fell by 3.2 per cent on the month, with imports falling by 1.3 per cent. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected rises of 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.
The drop in exports represented the steepest such decline since August 2015, with the recent strength of the euro cited as a potential factor behind this downward trend.
Meanwhile, the country's trade surplus narrowed to €19.2 billion, down from €21.5 billion in January and lower than the Reuters consensus forecast of €21.4 billion. This represented the lowest trade surplus since January 2017.
HSBC Trinkhaus analyst Lothar Hessler said: "As it looks, we have surpassed the top of the economic upswing. The German economy will continue to grow, but with less momentum."