Germany: Trade surplus widens in May despite fall in exports
July 8, 2014
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus totaled EUR 18.8 billion in May. The reading represented an increase over the revised EUR 17.2 billion registered in April (previously reported: EUR 17.7 billion), thus making the largest monthly surplus on record. May’s print also overshot the EUR 16.2 billion surplus the market had expected.
The trade surplus widened over the previous month in May as imports contracted more than exports. Imports fell a seasonally-adjusted 3.4% over the previous month—the sharpest monthly decline since November 2012—and came in below the 0.2% increase tallied in April. Meanwhile, exports contracted 1.1% in May, which contrasted the 2.6% expansion registered in April.
In annual terms, imports also deteriorated and decreased 0.4% in May (April: +0.7% year-on-year), which marked the fastest drop in six months. Exports expanded 4.3% over May 2013, which was a notable improvement over the 0.3% decrease registered in the previous month. The 12-month sum of exports up to May grew 1.2% over the same period last year and the trade surplus totaled EUR 201.5 billion.
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 this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist