Fall in German commercial activity in June by surprise
German trade slowed abruptly in June, adding to the evidence that demand in major economies may be starting to falter just as central banks are considering withdrawing the stimulus measures they have applied for years.
Exports of the largest European economy fell by 2.8 percent, the deepest drop since August 2015 and ending with five consecutive months of growth. Imports fell by 4.5 percent, the biggest drop since January 2009, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Statistics.
Exports and imports in China, which along with Europe has been leading global growth this year, rose much less than expected in July, according to data from Beijing on Tuesday. The weaker growth of imports in the second largest economy could be the first tangible sign of a slower than expected slowdown.
The government expects the economy to grow 1.5 percent this year, down from 1.9 percent in 2016, the best figure in five years. State construction and spending, coupled with consumption, have provided most of the growth boost, supported by a low interest rate scenario created by the ECB.
Recall that the image of the automobile industry has been touched by recent scandals, see article German car in decline, and these scandals will sooner or later lead to the loss of confidence in German industry.