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Exports from Germany down by 3.4%

Exports from Germany, Europe's biggest economy, were sharply lower in November compared with the previous month amid economic weakness elsewhere on the Continent.

The Federal Statistical Office said exports - a traditional strength of the German economy - dropped 3.4%. Adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, they totalled 89.6 billion euros (£72.9 billion). Imports were down 3.7% at 75.1 billion euros (£61.1 billion).

Growth in Germany slowed in 2012 after two strong years, but the economy is expected to pick up after a weak fourth quarter and continue growing in 2013.

Compared with a year earlier, exports were unchanged in November. A 5.7% decline in exports to other countries in the 17-nation eurozone contrasted with a 5.6% increase in those to nations outside the European Union.

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