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Trade

German exports expected to rise further

The Federation of German Industry has said the country's export volume will expand further in 2013 despite the eurozone debt crisis. Shipments to nations outside the EU are to compensate for declining sales in Europe.

The Federation of German Industry (BDI) said on Monday that Europe's biggest economy will be able to uphold its share of global trade through expanding export volumes in 2012 and next year.

"German exports this year are surpassing our expectations," BDI Managing Director Markus Kerbel said during the presentation of the federation's latest foreign trade report in Berlin. "Exports will rise by 4 percent this year and by at least another 3 percent in 2013."

Kerbel stated that renewed growth had to be attributed to German shipments to countries outside the European Union, noting that exports to non-EU nations increased by 11 percent in 2012. Right now, exports there account for 43 percent of all German shipments abroad, up from 38 percent in 2009.

Uncertainties yet to be overcome

The BDI forecast a growing demand abroad for goods from the German engineering sector, but also from the electronics and chemical industries. But it warned that Europe would remain a headache for some time to come.

"The sovereign debt crisis in Europe constitutes a big danger for our exporters," the report maintained. "This year, the volume of shipments to EU member countries almost stagnated."

The BDI said it was closely following the US fiscal cliff talks, hoping for a deal between Democrats and Republicans. It added that budget cuts and tax hikes in the event of failure to reach an agreement would see the US economy contract, with a direct impact on German exports.

hg/hc (dpa, dapd, Reuters)