Germany: Exports tumble in April
June 8, 2012
In April, exports contracted 1.7% over the previous month in seasonally and working-day adjusted terms. The outturn contrasted the 0.8% increase recorded in March and exceeded market expectations that had exports decreasing 1.0%. In addition, the April fall marked the first contraction since December 2011. Meanwhile, imports fell 4.8% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.9% increase observed in March.
Compared to the same month last year, exports accelerated from a revised 0.6% increase in March (previously reported: +0.7 year-on-year) to a 3.4% expansion in April, which pushed exports to EUR 87.1 billion. Meanwhile, imports contracted 1.0% annually in April to reach EUR 72.7 billion, which contrasted the 2.5% increase observed in March. The trade surplus narrowed slightly from EUR 17.4 billion in March to EUR 14.4 billion in April.
Exports are likely to continue to fall in the coming months, as the European debt crisis is taking its toll on German shipments to other Eurozone countries. The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) expect export growth to reach 6.0% this year, which will push exports to a new-record high of EUR 1.12 trillion.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist