The export and industrial production of Germany decreased more than expected in April. This became apparent after figures released by the German Federal Statistical Office on Friday. The German economy is struggling with the headwind of increasing global trade tensions.

Exports from Europe’s largest economy fell by 3.7 percent on a monthly basis in April. Economists generally expected a decrease of 0.9 percent. German exports rose by 1.5 percent in March. Imports from Germany fell by 1.3 percent in April.

The production of German industry fell by 1.9 percent in April compared to the previous month. That is the strongest contraction in almost four years. Economists here counted on average to fall by 0.5 percent. In March, industrial production in Germany increased by 0.5 percent.

ING top economist Carsten Brzeski spoke of a poor start to the second quarter for the German economy. Brzeski therefore stated that the cautious attitude with the interest rate policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) was justified. The ECB announced on Thursday that it would certainly not raise interest rates until the second half of next year.

The German central bank released a reduction in growth expectations for the economy on Friday, pointing in particular to weak exports. The Bundesbank is now counting on a growth of 0.6 percent for this year, from a previously predicted 1.6 percent. Economic progress with 1.2 percent is assumed for 2020. Earlier this was also counted at 1.6 percent. The German government expects a growth of 0.5 percent for this year.

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