Germany: Trade surplus narrows in July on plunging exports
September 9, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus decreased from EUR 21.4 billion in June to EUR 19.4 billion in July, dragged down by tumbling exports. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, exports fell 2.6% over the previous month (June: +0.2% month-on-month). Meanwhile, imports decreased 0.7% in July over the previous month (June: +1.1% mom).
Compared to the same month last year, exports dropped a notable 10.0% in July, which represented the steepest decline since October 2009 (June: +1.1% year-on-year). Imports also deteriorated, falling 6.5% compared to the same month last year (May: -0.1% yoy). Imports had not decreased that much since March 2013. In the 12 months up to July, exports grew an annual 1.8%, which was down from June’s 3.3% increase. At the same time, imports increased 1.3% (June: 2.4% yoy), and thus the 12-month trade balance fell from June’s record-high of EUR 250.2 billion to EUR 247.5 billion in July.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that German trade began the second half of this year with a sharp decline. Exports both to EU markets and to non-EU countries registered considerable losses. Exports to non-EU markets dropped the most, logging double-digit contractions.