Germany: Trade balance narrows to multi-year low in July as exports contract
September 7, 2018
External sector data disappointed in July as exports contracted 0.9% over the previous month on a seasonally- and calendar-adjusted basis. The result was below June’s 0.1% expansion. On the other hand, import growth accelerated markedly from 1.3% in June to 2.8% in July and reached a value of EUR 94.5 billion—the highest value on record since federal records began in 1950. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed to EUR 15.8 billion in July from EUR 19.3 billion in June. The bulk of trade was conducted with countries in the single currency bloc.
On an annual basis, growth in exports eased slightly from 7.8% in June to 7.6% in July. Meanwhile, imports accelerated, growing 12.0% in July over the same month a year ago (June: +10.3% year-on-year; previously reported: +10.2% yoy).
Annual growth in the 12-month moving sum of exports was stable at 5.1% in July, while growth in the 12-month moving sum of imports edged up from 6.1% in June to 6.3%. Subsequently, the 12-month accumulative trade surplus also narrowed from a revised EUR 247.4 billion in June (previously reported: EUR 247.1 billion) to EUR 243.7 billion in July.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist