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Partial setback for German exports

German shipments abroad have dipped markedly, falling in line with weaker output and a drop in industrial orders. The national stats agency said exports to non-EU nations were particularly disappointing.

Germany's export strength

German exports dipped by 1.8 percent in March compared with the previous month, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Friday.

It not only marked the second monthly fall in a row, but it was also the biggest fall since May 2013. Economists polled by Reuters had penciled in a 1-percent rise for the month under review.

Destatis said German companies exported goods worth 96 billion euros ($132.8 billion) in March.

No need to worry?

A region-by-region analysis once again revealed vast differences, with shipments to non-eurozone EU nations surging by 10.4 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, while exports to non-EU countries - the biggest emerging economies included – dropped by 0.4 percent over the same period.

Imports dropped by 0.9 percent in March month-on-month, with Germany's trade surplus in March coming in at 14.8 billion euros in calendar-adjusted terms.

Despite the monthly setback, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) said it remained upbeat about the rest of the year, expecting a 3-percent rise in exports throughout 2014.

hg / bf (dpa, Reuters)

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