German imports fell sharply in October and exports also weakened, suggesting Europe's largest economy is still struggling to shake off the impact of a slowdown in China. But as Hayley Platt reports, there was some good news for Volkswagen.
It's been an up and down few months for Germany's economy. And it's still struggling to shake off the impact of the China slowdown. That's how many are seeing the latest data. Seasonally-adjusted exports fell 1.2 % while imports were down 3.4 % - their biggest one-month drop since April 2012. The figures may have been skewed by strong September data or it could be a trend. Either way IG's Alastair McCaig says it's not all about China. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKETS ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "I think the other consequence is of what has a been a number of major German companies struggling. The automotive sector coming under some pretty harsh security as well driven by Volkswagen and the problems that they have had." Talking of Volkswagen. Their shares rose 8 percent after they announced they only understated the carbon emissions of 36,000 cars - not 800,000. Some comfort perhaps - but there are other factors too which could keep Germany's engine running in a lower gear. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG, MARKETS ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCRAIG, SAYING: "The efforts of Mario Draghi and his team to keep the euro at considerably lower levels are being put under some pressure, firstly with the ECB's actions and arguably later on this month when we hear from the US side of the equation." The trade data came as Germany's Ifo institute revised down its expectation for 2015 growth to 1.7 percent. But next year it sees faster expansion at 1.9 percent, thanks to state spending on a record influx refugees.