Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

Germany Trade August 2019

Germany: Exports fall in August

Exports fell 1.8% month-on-month on a calendar- and seasonally-adjusted basis, contrasting the revised 0.8% rise in the prior month (previously reported: +0.7% month-on-month). Imports, meanwhile, grew 0.5% in August over the prior month, swinging from the revised 2.4% drop recorded in July (previously reported: -1.5% mom). Consequently, the trade surplus narrowed from EUR 20.5 billion in July to EUR 18.1 billion.

The annual picture was not much better, with exports falling 3.9% over the same month a year prior in August (July: +3.8% year-on-year). The 12-month moving sum of exports moderated to 0.6% from 1.1% in July. Imports dropped 3.1% year-on-year in August, following the 1.0% fall in July; meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of imports eased from 3.6% in July to 2.8% in August. As a consequence, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed slightly to a EUR 222.5 billion surplus from EUR 222.8 billion in July.

Commenting on the data, Holger Bingmann, president of the Federal Association of Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), noted that: “The punitive ping-pong that we are currently seeing after the WTO decisions on Airbus and Boeing makes life more difficult and unnecessary. But Brexit is also paralyzing the economy due to the still unclear terms and conditions, exactly three weeks before the withdrawal date. All the more does German foreign trade need new impulses, such as the swift ratification of CETA. The EU association with the Mercosur Confederation is also part of this […].”

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