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Germany: Trade surplus narrows in March; exports record largest expansion in over three years

May 8, 2015

The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus narrowed slightly from EUR 20.0 billion in February to EUR 19.3 billion in March. The trade surplus narrowed over the previous month as imports grew at a faster pace while exports slowed. Exports rose a seasonally-adjusted 1.2% over the previous month (February: +1.4% quarter-on-quarter). Meanwhile, imports increased 2.4% in March, which was above February’s 1.3% rise and marked the fastest expansion in half a year.

Compared to the same month last year, exports gained 12.4% in March (February: +3.9% year-on-year), which was the largest annual expansion since August 2011. Imports grew 7.1% annually (February: +0.3% yoy). The 12-month sum of exports to March grew 4.4% over the same period last year and the 12-month trade surplus totaled EUR 228.9 billion, reaching yet another all-time record high.

In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) noted that the start to 2015 was promising for German trade and that exports to the Eurozone improved in the first quarter. Nevertheless, the BGA also stated that export growth to the Eurozone had fallen notably behind that of non-euro countries. Moreover, the BGA pointed out that export growth was greatly supported by the weak euro and therefore stands on shaky ground.


Author: Teresa Kersting, Economist

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Germany Trade Chart


Germany Trade12m March 2015

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in EUR billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) and FocusEconomics calculations.


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