Germany: Export growth slows but remains healthy in February
April 7, 2017
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus rose from EUR 18.9 billion in January to EUR 21.0 billion in February, driven up by falling imports and growing exports. In February, exports grew 0.8% from the previous month, down from January’s 2.4% expansion. Import contracted 1.6% in February, contrasting the 2.8% expansion in January.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, exports increased 3.1% in February, a marked slowdown from January’s 11.7% increase. Imports also slowed, growing just 3.7% in February following an 11.4% increase in January. In the 12 months up to February, exports grew an annual 2.0%, down from January’s 2.1% increase. The trend was the same for imports, which increased 1.3% after a 1.4% increase in January, pushing up the 12-month trade balance from EUR 249.0 billion to EUR 250.4 billion in February.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that February’s trade figures were fairly positive, but cautioned that serious challenges still lie ahead in the coming year. The BGA highlighted the protectionist narrative gaining ground across the globe as the biggest risk to Germany’s external sector.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist