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Germany: Trade surplus narrows on shrinking exports

March 9, 2015

The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus decreased from December’s EUR 21.5 billion record-high to EUR 19.7 billion in January.

The trade surplus in January narrowed over the previous month as exports contracted at a faster pace than imports. Exports shrank a seasonally-adjusted 2.1% over the previous month, contrasting December’s 2.8% increase. Meanwhile, imports fell 0.3% in January, coming in above December’s 0.7% decline.

Compared to the same month of the previous year, exports fell 0.6% (December: +10.0% year-on-year). Imports contracted 2.3% annually in January, contrasting December’s 4.2% rise. The 12-month sum of exports to January grew 3.5% over the same period last year and the trade surplus totaled EUR 220.9 billion, reaching yet another all-time record high.

The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) noted in a recent statement that the print reflects a disappointing start to this year, as exports to the U.S. and China did not compensate for lower demand from BRIC countries and economic weakness in the Euro area.


Author: Teresa Kersting, Economist

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Germany Trade Chart


Germany Trade12m January 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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