Germany: Trade surplus increases in November
January 9, 2017
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus increased from EUR 20.7 billion in October to EUR 21.8 billion in November, driven up by faster growing exports. On a seasonally adjusted basis, exports grew 3.9% from the previous month, up from October’s 0.5% increase and the fastest pace of growth since May 2012. Import growth also accelerated, growing 3.5%, an improvement on October’s 1.2% mark.
Compared to the same month of the previous year, exports increased 5.7% in November, contrasting October’s 4.0% contraction. Imports also returned to growth, increasing 4.4% in November, following October’s 2.3% contraction. In the 12 months up to November, exports grew an annual 0.9%, down from October’s 1.1% increase. The trend was the same for imports, which increased 0.3% after a 0.4% increase in October, pushing up the 12-month trade balance from EUR 249.3 billion to a record-high of EUR 251.1 billion in November.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that November’s data suggested that Germany’s whole-year trade performance might be more robust than expected following a string of disappointing results in previous months. According to the BGA, stronger growth in Europe is supporting the recovery in export growth. While the BGA expects trade to have a solid start to the year, it also underlined how mounting uncertainty in the international environment could adversely impact the German external sector.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist