Germany: Trade surplus narrows due to unexpected contraction in exports
September 6, 2013
In July, the seasonally and calendar adjusted trade balance recorded a EUR 14.5 billion surplus. The figure was below both the EUR 15.9 surplus observed in June and market expectations of a EUR 16.1 billion surplus.
The trade surplus narrowed in July as exports unexpectedly decreased 1.1% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms (June: +0.6% month-on-month). The reading contrasted market expectations of a 0.8% expansion. Meanwhile, imports advanced to a 0.5% expansion in July, up from a 1.0% decline in June.
Compared to the same month last year, shipments abroad fell 0.1% in July (June: -2.1% year-on-year). In contrast, imports increased 0.9% annually in the same month (June: -1.4% yoy).
The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) expects exports to grow 3.0% this year to EUR 1.13 trillion. The BGA added that by 2025, more than half of German exports will be shipped to countries outside the European Union. In 2012, nearly 60% of German exports went to EU countries.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist