By Jonathan Davies

Germany has reported the biggest monthly fall in exports for five years for August.

Later school holidays and ongoing uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine contributed to a 5.8% drop in exports during August. Germany's Federal Statistical Office also reported a 1.3% fall in imports.

That resulted in the country's trade surplus falling €17.5bn (£13.8bn). It follows weak industrial output figures which were released earlier this week.

The German school holidays fell during August this year, rather than July - a key contributor to the sharp fall, according to the statistics office.

There were also indications that Germany's exports are being contained within the European Union. Exports inside the EU grew by 2%, but those to countries outside of Europe were down 4.7%.

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