Germany posted weaker-than-expected international trade figures in July 2017, with imports growing faster than exports.
Data from the German Federal Statistics Office showed that seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.2 per cent on the month before, while imports were up by 2.2 per cent. This resulted in a narrower trade surplus of €19.5 billion, down from €21.2 billion euros in June.
The trade surplus fell below the Reuters consensus forecast of €20.3 billion euros, with analysts pointing to a drop in industrial orders due to weak domestic demand as a key reason why the figures did not meet expectations.
A stronger euro is also acting as a headwind for exporters, but experts are nevertheless predicting that the German economy will continue to be a strong performer, despite recent setbacks.
Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING, said: "Strong fundamentals combined with buoyant confidence indicators still point to a quick rebound of industrial activity after the summer break."