10/10/2011 03:22 EDT | Updated 12/09/2011 05:12 EST

German trade surplus widens in August as exports rose

BERLIN - Germany, Europe's largest economy, saw its trade surplus widen in August as exports rose while imports remained flat, the Federal Statistics Office said Monday.

Preliminary data show German exports were up 3.5 per cent in August over the previous month when adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations. Imports were unchanged.

Germany is the world's second largest exporter, after China.

In August, the foreign trade balance was an adjusted €13.8 billion ($18.5 billion), with exports at €90.5 billion, and imports at €76.7 billion.

Unadjusted figures showed a trade surplus of €11.8 billion in August compared with €10.5 billion in July.

Meantime, in another report the office said Germany's manufacturing turnover fell 0.4 per cent in August over July, according to adjusted provisional data. Compared to the same month the year before, manufacturing turnover rose 8.3 per cent when adjusted for working-day variations.

Germany's economy grew only 0.1 per cent in the second quarter, but the country's central bank predicts a stronger outcome for the third quarter.

Still, growth may be held back by economic problems in much of the eurozone area — Germany's biggest market. Outgoing European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said last week that he expected expansion in the eurozone to be very moderate in the second half of the year.