BERLIN, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Germany exported goods worth 116.3 billion euros (133.3 billion U.S. dollars) and imported goods for 95.7 billion euros in November 2018, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Wednesday.
Accordingly, German exports in November 2018 remained nearly unchanged on the previous year while imports increased by 3.6 percent. Compared to October 2018, exports were down 0.4 percent and imports decreased by 1.6 percent.
"Exports are still stable, but there are increasing signs of an economic slowdown," commented Holger Bingmann, president of the German Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) on Wednesday.
Germany's machinery and production sector is also slowing down. A slight increase of 2 percent in foreign orders was offset by a decline of 3 percent in domestic orders, the industry association VDMA announced on Wednesday.
"It is apparently becoming increasingly difficult for companies to top the already high order intake figures of the previous year," VDMA Chief Economist Ralph Wiechers commented.
Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, Axel Lindner of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) said that German exports and production in the manufacturing sector had been "weakening since the summer".
"The stagnation of exports in November is again disappointing," Lindner points out, especially because production had not picked up after "inhibiting factors" during summer and autumn such as the lack of exhaust gas certification for automobiles and transport bottlenecks due to the low water level of the Rhine no longer existed.
In total, Germany's large foreign trade surplus that has been the cause for much criticism from other European countries as well as U.S. President Donald Trump, went down by 3.3 billion euros compared to November 2017 and amounted to 20.5 billion euros in November 2018.
According to provisional results of the Deutsche Bundesbank, that include supplementary trade items, services as well as cash flows between German and international citizens, Germany's trade surplus in November was slightly higher at 21.4 billion euros, down from 26.4 billion euros in November 2017.