German exports 2.4 percent higher in August

BERLIN -- Exports from Germany, Europe's biggest economy, rose unexpectedly in August compared with the previous month but industrial production was a bit lower, official data showed Monday.

Germany is seeing slower growth this year following two years of robust increases in output, and government figures last week showed that industrial orders were 1.3 percent lower in August. Business confidence has slipped, reflecting worries about the impact of Europe's debt crisis.

But the economy remains fundamentally solid. The Federal Statistical Office said Monday that Germany exported goods and services worth (EURO)95 billion ($124 billion) in August in calendar-adjusted terms; the gain followed a 0.4 percent increase in July. Economists had expected a slight decline.

German imports were up 0.3 percent at (EURO)76.7 billion, following an identical gain in July. In year-on-year terms, exports were up 5.8 percent and imports rose 0.4 percent.

Also Monday, the Economy Ministry said that industrial production was down 0.5 percent in August compared with July _ a performance that was in line with economists' expectations. That followed a 1.2 percent increase in July, a figure revised downward from the initial reading of 1.3 percent.

The decline was led by a 2.8 percent decline in construction industry output, the ministry said.