Germany: Trade surplus narrows slightly in October
December 9, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus decreased from EUR 21.1 billion in September to EUR 20.5 billion in October, driven down by faster growing imports. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, exports grew 0.5% from the previous month, which contrasted September’s 1.0% decrease. Imports also increased, growing 1.3% and improving from a 0.7% contraction in September.
Compared to the same month last year, exports fell 4.1%, contrasting September’s small 0.6% increase. The contraction in imports accelerated, reaching 2.2% after a 1.6% drop in September. In the 12 months up to October, exports grew an annual 1.1%, down from September’s 1.7% increase. The trend was the same for imports, which increased 0.4% after a 0.9% increase in September, pushing up the 12-month trade balance from EUR 249 billion to a record-high of EUR 250 billion in October.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that October’s data highlighted the importance of a stable international economic environment for German exporters. Even through the trade balance remains at record highs, the increased global uncertainty is having a detrimental effect on the country’s export performance. The BGA called on policy makers to resolve issues surrounding Brexit and the future of the EU, while also demanding an end to the ECB’s low interest rate policy.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist