Germany: Trade balance narrows in September; exports and imports recover
November 9, 2015
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus narrowed from EUR 19.7 billion in August to EUR 19.4 billion in September, marking the lowest reading in 10 months. The trade surplus declined over the previous month as imports grew at a faster pace than exports. Exports rose a seasonally-adjusted 2.6% over the previous month, which marked the fastest expansion in nine months and a recovery from August’s sizable 5.2% drop. Meanwhile, imports recorded the fastest expansion in a year and increased 3.6% in September, which contrasted August’s large 3.2% contraction.
Compared to the same month last year, exports gained 4.4% in September, which was down from August’s 5.9% growth. Imports’ growth decelerated from August’s 4.5% to 3.9% in September. The 12-month sum of exports to September grew 6.5% over the same period last year and the 12-month trade surplus totaled EUR 245.0 billion, reaching yet another all-time high.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that September’s reading confirms that German foreign trade is at record levels and that EU countries continue to be Germany’s most important trading partners. At the same time, the BGA cautioned that a cooldown of the global economy is likely in the medium and long term and that demand for Germany exports will slow, particularly from the BRIC countries. In addition to this, the BGA noted that some temporary tailwinds for German foreign trade, such as a weak euro and low commodity prices, are expected to fade eventually.