Germany: Merchandise exports rebound month on month in April
Merchandise exports rebounded in April, growing 1.2% on a month-on-month calendar- and seasonally adjusted basis (March: -6.0% mom s.a.). Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell at a softer rate of 1.7% over the month in April (March: -5.5% mom c.s.a.).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording an EUR 14.0 billion surplus in April (March 2023: EUR 22.5 billion surplus; April 2022: EUR 2.4 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a EUR 116.8 billion surplus in April, compared to the EUR 105.2 billion surplus in March.
Exports are likely to be limited in H2, when the United States—Germany’s number one trading partner—is expected to fall into a shallow recession.
Dr. Andreas Rees, Chief German Economist at UniCredit, said:
“The biggest downside risk [to German exports] does not necessarily come from China but from the US, as flagged by an increasing gap in export activity over the last two years. While China was on par with the US at the start of 2021, German goods exports to the US have surged by nearly 60% since then to about EUR 160bn over the last 12 months […]. At the same time, exports to China have been more or less stagnating slightly above EUR 100bn.”