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German exports likely to fall 2% next year - DIHK survey

The skyline of the banking district is pictured in Frankfurt

BERLIN (Reuters) -German exports are likely to fall 2% next year due to a sluggish global economy, with nearly half of German companies that sell abroad expecting an economic downturn, the German chambers of commerce and industry (DIHK) said on Thursday.

That would translate into a drop of 70 billion euros ($72 billion) in the earnings of German exporters. "The slump in exports is here," said DIHK head of foreign trade Volker Treier.

According to a survey of 3,100 German companies active abroad, 47% of respondents expect an economic slowdown in their export markets in the next 12 months. That's less than in spring 2020, at the start of the pandemic, when the figure was 65%.

For the coming year, the DIHK expects at best 2.5% growth for the global economy, which is slightly more pessimistic than the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) forecast of 2.7% growth.

However, exporters appear more confident about the future than domestic-focussed companies.

Nearly 40% of respondents expect better business in the coming year, while 42% see their current situation as unchanged, the survey said.

That compares with only 8% of companies in Germany saying they expect better business, while 52% said they expect it to become worse, according to a separate DIHK survey.

($1 = 0.9673 euros)

(Reporting by Rene WagnerWriting by Miranda Murray Editing by Rachel More and Mark Potter)