Germany: Germany records second-largest surplus in over 60 years
February 8, 2013
In December, the seasonally adjusted trade balance recorded a EUR 16.8 billion surplus, which came in above both the revised EUR 15.6 billion surplus recorded in November (previously reported: EUR 14.6 billion) and market expectations that had the trade surplus narrowing to EUR 14.8 billion.
Exports increased in December a seasonally and working-day adjusted 0.3% over the previous month, which contrasted the 2.2% drop observed in November. The reading, nonetheless, disappointed market expectations of a 1.3% rise. On the other hand, imports surprisingly fell 1.3% in December (November: -3.8% month-on-month), contrasting expectations of a 1.4% increase.
Compared to the same month the previous year, overseas sales stepped down from a 0.1% decrease in November to a 6.9% contraction in December. Imports followed suit and declined 7.3% annually in December, below the 1.2% contraction tallied in November.
In the full year 2012 exports grew 3.4% (2011: +11.5%), which pushed them to EUR 1.1 trillion, while imports expanded 0.7% (2011: +13.2%) to EUR 909 billion. As a result, the trade surplus reached EUR 189 billion, which came in well above the EUR 156 billion registered in 2011 and, according to the Federal Statistics Office, is the second largest since 1950.
The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) expects export growth to strengthen and expand 5% to reach EUR 1.2 trillion.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist