Germany: Trade balance narrows in December; imports and exports both fall
February 9, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus narrowed from EUR 19.8 billion in November to EUR 19.4 billion in December. The trade surplus decreased over the previous month as exports and imports both dropped. Exports fell a seasonally-adjusted 1.6% over the previous month, which contrasted November’s 0.5% increase. Meanwhile, imports decreased 1.6% in December (November: +1.3% month-on-month).
Compared to the same month of the previous year, exports expanded 3.2% in December, which was down from November’s 7.8% increase and represented the slowest growth in almost a year. Imports’ growth decelerated from 5.5% in November to 3.5% in December. In the full year 2015, exports grew an annual 6.4% (2014: +6.9% year-on-year) and imports rose 4.2% (2014: +4.2% yoy), leading to a trade surplus of EUR 246.0 billion.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that German foreign trade performed solidly in 2015, with exports to both European and non-European countries recording healthy gains. In the BGA’s view, exports performed robustly thanks to their regional diversification, which allowed to weather well slowdowns in several economies, including Russia and Latin America.