Germany: Trade surplus narrows on falling exports
October 9, 2014
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus totaled EUR 17.5 billion in August. The reading represented a setback over the EUR 22.1 billion surplus registered in July, but came in above market expectations.
The trade surplus in August narrowed over the previous month as exports fell at a faster pace than imports. Exports dropped a seasonally-adjusted 5.8% over the previous month—the steepest decline since January 2009—contrasting July’s 4.8% expansion. Meanwhile, imports advanced from July’s 1.4% contraction to a 1.3% drop.
Compared to the same month last year, exports also fell, dropping 1.0% (July: +8.5% year-on-year), which marked the fastest decline in a year. Imports contracted 2.4% in August, which contrasted the 1.0% increase registered in the previous month. The 12-month sum of exports to August grew 2.6% over the same period last year and the trade surplus totaled EUR 210.8 billion.
The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) recently stated that the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, in Iraq and in Syria as well as the Ebola epidemic lead to a sustained uncertainty in the markets and consequently to a lack of investment. A recorded slowdown in orders suggests that these strains continue to drag on foreign trade during the second half of this year.