Germany Trade February 2018


Germany: Exports record sharpest contraction in two-and-a-half years in February

April 10, 2018

German exports continued to drop in the second month of the year, contracting 3.2% on a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted month-on-month basis. The result was the strongest decline since August 2015 and a sharper downturn than the prior month’s revised 0.4% contraction (previously reported: -0.5% month-on-month). Meanwhile, imports also contracted more sharply in February than in January on the same basis: Import growth decreased 1.3% mom compared to the prior month’s revised 0.2% drop (previously reported: -0.5% mom). Germany’s trade surplus fell from January’s revised EUR 21.5 billion surplus (previously reported: EUR +21.3 billion) to a EUR 19.2 billion surplus in February. Export data for the first two months of the year, when viewed in conjunction with other available indicators, suggests that 2017’s economic momentum is losing steam.

On an annual basis, exports continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. In February, exports expanded 2.4% year-on-year, a marked moderation from January’s 8.6% yoy rate. A similar trend was observed in imports, but the slowdown was less steep. Imports increased 4.7% yoy in February, down from the 6.9% yoy expansion seen in January. Meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of exports inched down from 6.1% in January to 6.0%; however, the 12-month moving sum of imports inched up from 7.9% in January to 8.0%. As growth in imports outpaced export growth, the 12-month accumulative trade balance went down, from a revised EUR 248.6 billion surplus in January (previously reported: EUR +249.0 billion) to a EUR 247.1 billion surplus in February.

Author:, Economist

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Germany Trade Chart

Germany Trade12m February 2018

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in EUR billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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