Germany: Exports contract at a multi-year high pace in April
German exports plummeted at the start of the second quarter, dropping 3.7% month-on-month on a calendar- and seasonally-adjusted basis (March: +1.5% month-on-month). This marked the steepest drop since August 2015. Although imports also fell, but at a softer pace of 1.3% (March: +0.7% mom), the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 17.0 billion in April from EUR 19.9 billion in March.
The annual picture was not as bad but still showed that exports contracted 0.5% in April (March: +2.0% year-on-year), while imports grew 2.1% year-on-year, down from 4.7% in the prior month. The 12-month moving sum of exports eased to 2.2% in April from 3.0% in March, while the 12-month moving sum of imports moderated to 5.5% from 6.0% in the prior month. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed to a EUR 223.1 billion surplus in April from the EUR 225.5 billion surplus logged in March.
Dr. Holger Bingmann, president of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), stated that “the effects of global unrest – not only in politics in general, but above all in trade policy – are now being felt. […] The figures show how dependent we are on political stability in the EU and the world.”