Germany: Trade surplus narrows in January on surging imports
March 11, 2014
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade balance totaled EUR 17.2 billion in January. The result came in below both the revised EUR 18.3 billion observed in December (previously reported: EUR 18.5 billion) and the EUR 18.5 billion the markets had expected. The trade surplus narrowed in January as imports grew 4.1% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, bouncing back from the 1.4% contraction registered in December. The reading, which overshot market expectations of a 1.3% rise, marked the fastest expansion in 20 months. Meanwhile, exports increased 2.2% in January, which contrasted a 0.9% contraction tallied in December. Growth in exports was also faster that the market's expectation of a 1.4% increase. Compared to the same month last year, imports grew 2.8% in January (December: +4.5% year-on-year) and imports increased 1.5% (December: +2.4% yoy). The 12-month sum of exports up to January totaled EUR 201.6 billion, which represents a 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