Germany: Trade surplus hits record high in 2013
February 7, 2014
The seasonally and calendar-adjusted trade balance recorded a EUR 18.5 billion surplus in December. The result fell short of the revised EUR 18.9 billion surplus registered in November (previously reported: EUR 17.8 billion) and came in below market expectations of an increase to EUR 19.0 billion.
The trade surplus narrowed in December as exports decreased 0.9% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms (November: +0.7% month-on-month). The reading, which marks the first drop in the past five months, came as a surprise to market analysts who had expected exports to increase 0.8%. Meanwhile, imports fell 0.6% in December, which contrasted both the 2.3% contraction observed in November and market expectations of a 1.2% rise.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, overseas sales rose 4.6% in December (November: +1.0% year-on-year), while imports grew 2.1% annually in the same month (November: -0.4% yoy). In the full year 2013, the trade surplus reached EUR 201.2 billion (2012: EUR 191 billion), which marks a new record high.
The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) expects exports to expand 3.0% in 2014 and to reach a record level of EUR 1.14 trillion. The BGA expects the trade surplus to reach EUR 224 billion.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist