Germany: Merchandise exports contract in July
Merchandise exports decreased 0.9% on a calendar- and seasonally adjusted basis in July (June: +0.2% c.s.a. mom), declining slightly less than was expected by the market. The decline in exports was due to lower shipments to non-EU countries, notably to the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, merchandise imports climbed 1.4% over the same month last year in July (June: -3.2% c.s.a. mom).
As a result, the unadjusted merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a EUR 16.4 billion surplus in July (June 2023: EUR 22.2 billion surplus; July 2022: EUR 4.9 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a EUR 150.7 billion surplus in July, compared to the USD 139.1 billion surplus in June.
Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING, commented:
“Since the start of 2022, net exports have been a drag on the economy in four out of six quarters. Supply chain frictions, a more fragmented global economy and China increasingly being able to produce goods it previously bought from Germany, are all factors weighing on the German export sector.”