Germany exports posted their biggest drop in more than two years in April after a surge the month before.
The figures – which were worse than economists has forecast – suggest that Europe’s biggest economy is losing steam as a result of slowing global growth.
Adjusted for seasonal factors, exports fell by 5.5 percent month-on-month in April after rising 7.2 percent in March.
The trade balance also narrowed more than expected as imports fell for the first time month-on-month this year. Imports were down 2.1 percent, just over double the amount predicted by analysts.
Economists remained upbeat, pointing to a correction from the previous month’s strong reading but also said the pace of recovery was slowing.
“At first glance, this is a strong decline, especially in exports. It is, however, a reaction to strong gains in March. That’s why it shouldn’t be overestimated,” said Thorsten Polleit, an economist with Barclays Bank.