German exports fell more than expected in August, boosting expectations that a downturn in the manufacturing sector would push Europe's largest economy into recession.
The Federal Bureau of Statistics said seasonally adjusted exports plummeted 1.8 percent on a monthly basis, while imports increased 0.5 percent.
Exports dropped 3.9 percent year-on-year, while imports declined for a third straight month, compared to 2018.
The horrendous figures largely reflect the weakness in domestic demand as companies respond to a worsening growth outlook.
The trade surplus shrank to 18.1 billion euros from 20.2 billion euros, while analysts had predicted a trade surplus of 19.1 billion euros.
Recent data indicate
that manufacturing continued to weaken in the third quarter after the economy
contracted in the second quarter by 0.1 percent, raising expectations the German
economy may experience a technical recession.