Germany: Trade surplus narrows in October
December 11, 2017
In seasonally- and calendar-adjusted terms, Germany’s trade surplus decreased to EUR 19.9 billion in October from a revised EUR 21.9 billion in September (previously reported: EUR 21.8 billion). Exports again contracted 0.4% over the previous month in October (September: -0.4% month-on-month), while imports rebounded to expand 1.8% over the previous month (September: -1.1% mom; previously reported: -1.0% mom).
In year-on-year terms, export growth picked up from 4.5% in September (previously reported: +4.6% year-on-year) to 6.8% in October. As a result, the 12-month moving sum of exports increased from 5.2% in September to 6.2% in October. The 12-month moving sum of imports also rose, increasing from 7.3% in the previous month to 8.2% in October. The 12-month trade balance remained steady at the prior month’s revised reading of EUR 242.0 billion in October.
Commenting on the October result, Dr. Holger Bingmann, President of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), stated that, “German foreign trade starts with much momentum in the fourth quarter. […] However, the economy needs a reliable political flanking.” He continued, “Germany must continue to remain a political and economic anchor of stability in Europe and the world.” Following federal elections on 24 September, which left the political scene fractured, it has proven more difficult to form a majority government after the FDP walked out of coalition talks. Talks to renew Angela Merkel’s grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SDP are likely to start in the new year but may prove difficult.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist