German Exports Down 30 Percent

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany, Europe's largest economy, saw its exports plunge nearly 30 percent in April as the global economic crisis continued to hurt demand for its products, the Federal Statistical Office reported Tuesday.

The country saw exports drop to euro63.8 billion ($88.47 billion) in April, compared with euro89.5 billion in the same month the previous year -- a drop of 28.7 percent.

The fall was the largest since Germany went into recession in last year's third quarter, though there were two fewer working days in April 2009 compared to April 2008 because of how the Easter break fell.

Imports dropped 22.9 percent to euro54.4 billion ($75.43 billion) from euro70.5 billion in April 2008.

According to figures adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, exports declined 4.8 percent in April from the previous month, while imports were down 5.8 percent, the office said.

Germany's export-driven economy showed a foreign trade balance surplus of euro9.4 billion ($13.03 billion) in April -- compared to a surplus of euro19 billion in April 2008.

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