Germany: Trade surplus hits new record and exports pick up in March
May 10, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus increased from EUR 20.0 billion in February to EUR 23.6 billion in March, which marked a record high. The trade surplus widened over the previous month as exports gained steam while imports deteriorated. Exports expanded a seasonally-adjusted 1.9% over the previous month (February: +1.3% month-on-month). Meanwhile, imports decreased 2.3% in March (February: +0.1% mom).
Compared to the same month last year, exports decreased 0.5% in March, which contrasted February’s 4.1% expansion. Imports’ swung from a 4.1% increase in February to a 4.3% drop in March. In the 12 months to March, exports grew an annual 5.0%, which was down from February’s 6.3% increase. At the same time, imports grew 3.6% (February: +4.7% year-on-year), bringing the 12-month trade balance to yet another record-high of EUR 248.5 billion.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented somewhat cautiously about March’s reading that German exports to and imports from non-EU countries fell, which pointed to weakness in the BRIC economies. However, the BGA was positive about the fact that trade with EU member states helped to stabilize Germany’s foreign trade in March.