Germany: Trade balance narrows in January on dropping exports
March 10, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus narrowed from EUR 20.3 billion in December to EUR 18.7 billion in January, marking the smallest surplus in over a year. The trade surplus decreased over the previous month as exports dropped while imports rose. Exports fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% over the previous month (December: -0.7% month-on-month). Meanwhile, imports increased 1.3% in January (December: -1.6% mom).
Compared to the same month last year, exports declined 1.5% in January, which was the lowest reading in 17 months and contrasted December’s 3.3% increase. Imports’ growth decelerated from 3.5% in December to 1.6% in January. In the 12 months to January, exports grew an annual 6.3% (December: +6.4% year-on-year) while imports rose 4.4% (December: +4.2% yoy), bringing the 12-month trade balance to EUR 244.4 billion.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that while German exports in recent months received strong tailwinds from a weak euro, this effect is fading now and slowing global demand is dragging on trade. The BGA added that in January demand for German exports dropped most among non EU-countries.