(Corrects month in second paragraph)
* Exports almost stagnated over last 12 months
* Weak pound and protectionist U.S. could harm exports
* Growing imports narrow trade surplus
By Joseph Nasr
BERLIN, Dec 9 German exports rebounded by less
than expected in October, dampening hopes that trade will make a
significant contribution to a predicted expansion in Europe's
biggest economy in the final quarter of this year.
The data suggests that German industry, whose output rose
less than expected in October due to stagnating factory output,
will only witness a mild recovery in the last three months of
Exports have almost stagnated over the last 12 months,
growing on average by 0.1 percent monthly from a historical
average of 0.3 percent.
"Looking ahead, however, the latest weakness of the pound
sterling and possible protectionist policies under the new
president in the U.S. do not bode well for the outlook for
German exports," said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.
"It seems as if exports' troubles gaining momentum will not
be over any time soon."
Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.5 percent on the
month, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed, while
imports increased by 1.3 percent.
The data reinforces a trend of weakening exports, which have
been losing their traditional role as the main growth driver in
A Reuters poll had pointed to exports rising by 1.0 percent
and imports posting a 0.9 percent increase.
The jump in imports narrowed the seasonally adjusted trade
surplus to 20.5 billion euros from 21.1 billion euros in
September. The October reading was below the Reuters consensus
forecast of 21.5 billion euros.
Exports for September were revised down for a fall of 1.0
percent from a previously reported drop of 0.7 percent.
Private consumption and increased state spending have been
fuelling German growth.
But the positive effects of private consumption are likely
to wane next year, as rising consumer prices and weaker wage
increases are expected to discourage Germans from spending.
(Editing by Paul Carrel)