BERLIN, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- German exports in October fell slightly by 0.6 percent month-on-month to 133.5 billion euros (140.5 billion U.S. dollars), the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Friday.
Imports decreased 3.7 percent to 126.6 billion euros. The foreign trade surplus was 6.9 billion euros, down by almost half year-on-year.
Germany's foreign trade was "clouding over," warned Dirk Jandura, president of the German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services Association (BGA). "In particular, the weakness in imports indicates that the foreign trade engine is starting to sputter."
China remained the most important trading partner of Europe's largest economy in October. As in the previous month, goods worth 8.9 billion were exported to the country. Imports from there rose by 0.8 percent month-on-month and reached 16.9 billion euros.
The new figures come at a time when global container shipping congestion is easing. For the first time in more than a year, the share of goods shipped worldwide that are stuck in congestion fell below 10 percent, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
As a result, the economic institute paints a more positive outlook than the BGA and expects exports from all major economies to rise in November. While Germany's exports would rise by 4.1 percent month-on-month, exports from China would even increase by 6.6 percent.
"The figures are a positive sign in a period of global recession fears," IfW trade expert Vincent Stamer said last week. "Compared to the trend of stagnating trade figures in recent months, there is now an upward trend visible." (1 euro = 1.05 U.S. dollar)