[BERLIN] Germany will set another export record this year despite recent worries of an economic slowdown in China, the head of the German trade association said in an interview published on Sunday.
Economists have expressed concern that China's woes might become a burden for Germany's export-centric economy, Europe's largest, which has the greatest exposure to China of all 28 EU member states.
China is the Germany's fourth biggest export market, accounting for 6.6 per cent of its exports.
Anton Boerner, head of the BGA trade association, told the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that he still expected German companies to trump last year's record trade performance. "We'll manage to post a small plus," Mr Boerner said, adding that China's impact on Germany should not be overestimated, and that he was more worried about the risk of a break-up of the eurozone. "There was an incredible growth phase over several decades (in China). So it's only natural if there is a setback now," Mr Boerner said, adding that German exports to China might grow at a slower pace, but would not decline.
In total, Germany exported 1.13 trillion euros' worth of goods and services in 2014, a 3.7 per cent increase on 2013, despite sluggish global growth and the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
However, weaker demand from abroad was reflected in a sharper-than-expected drop in industrial orders in July.
Fresh data will come on Monday when industrial output figures for July are due, with analysts predicting a 1.0 per cent rise.
Tuesday sees the release of trade figures for July, which will give another clue to how the German economy started into the third quarter.