Germany: Exports fall in April
External sector data for April failed to impress and suggests that the weak start to the year carried over into the second quarter, with exports dropping for the third time this year on a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted month-on-month basis. In April, exports fell 0.3% month-on-month, contrasting the 1.8% expansion recorded in March. Imports, however, recovered from a 0.2% contraction in March to a 2.2% expansion in April. Subsequently, the trade surplus narrowed from a revised EUR 21.6 billion in March (previously reported: EUR 22.0 billion) to EUR 19.4 billion in April.
A year-on-year comparison painted a more positive picture, however. Exports expanded 9.3% in April over a year ago, rebounding from the prior month’s 1.7% decrease. Imports behaved in a similar fashion, recording an 8.2% expansion and recovering from a 1.7% drop in March. The annual variation of the 12-month moving sum of exports also picked up, from 4.8% in March to 5.8% in April; the 12-month moving sum of imports increased from 6.5% in March to 6.8% in April. Despite the pick-up in exports, the 12-month accumulative trade balance was stable at the prior month’s revised surplus of EUR 249.4 billion (previously reported: EUR 250.0 billion).