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German imports and export slide

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German imports and export slide

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German imports fell sharply for the second time in three months in June and exports also dropped.

It is a further sign the eurozone crisis is beginning to hurt the region’s largest economy.

Imports slumped by a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent from the previous month, reversing a 6.2 percent jump in May.

Exports fell 1.5 percent, again on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Shipments to eurozone countries, which make up around 40 percent of all German exports, fell by 3.0 percent year-on-year in June but exports to non-euro zone countries were up 4.8 percent, the data showed.

Last week a survey of purchasing managers showed new export orders falling for a 13th straight month amid softer demand from China and the United States.

Coming after worse-than-expected industrial orders for June, the trade data pointed to weakness in Germany. It has become Europe’s growth engine and paymaster as the eurozone crisis and austerity measures implemented in struggling states bite.