German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Updated 14 November 2012
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German exporters set for 2012 record trade surplus

Germany is set for a record trade surplus this year, increasing 10 percent compared to 2011, to reach 174 billion euros ($ 221 billion), the BGA German federation of exporters and wholesalers said Tuesday.
"Despite a weakening at the end of the year, our foreign trade is facing a new all-time high this year," its president Anton Boerner said in a written statement.
Exports, which remain the motor of the German economy, Europe's biggest, are expected to grow by four percent to 1.1 trillion euros in 2012 while imports are set for three-percent growth to 929 billion euros, in nominal terms, it said.
Boerner reiterated that the volume of foreign trade, or the total of exports and imports, would surpass the 2.0-trillion-euro mark this year for the first time.
But the federation remains cautious. "The debt crisis with all its dangers will accompany Germany for a long time yet," its president warned.
In April, the BGA forecast a stable trade surplus of 159 billion euros for 2012 compared with the year earlier but has since revised downwards its projections for imports and, to a lesser extent, exports.


Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

Updated 20 March 2019
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Instagram moves into e-commerce with shopping button

  • A new “checkout” button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses
  • Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday made a move into potentially lucrative e-commerce by adding an option to buy products shown off in posts by selected brands.
A new “checkout” button for instant purchasing launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a limited number of businesses, according to the popular image-centric messaging service.
“We’re introducing Checkout on Instagram,” the Silicon Valley based division of Facebook said in an online post.
“When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app.”
Tapping the checkout button will allow shoppers to select options such as size or color and then pay for items without leaving the Instagram app.
Previously, people inspired to buy products featured in Instagram posts had to follow links to outside online shopping sites.
Information entered for an initial purchase will be stored for future use, according to Instagram.
It remained to be seen how people would feel trusting information such as credit card details to a service owned by Facebook, which has been hit with waves of criticism for its handling of personal data.
Brands taking part in the checkout feature included Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and glasses retailer Warby Parker.
Facebook makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising but has dabbled with e-commerce in the past. It has pitched its Messenger service as a communication platform for shops or brands to connect with customers.