Germany: Trade surplus narrows slightly in September
November 8, 2016
The seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus decreased from EUR 21.6 billion in August to EUR 21.3 billion in September, driven down by faster falling exports. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, exports fell 0.7% from the previous month, which contrasted August’s 3.4% increase. Imports also fell, dropping 0.5% and deteriorating from a 1.9% increase in August.
Compared to the same month last year, exports increased 0.9%, well below August’s 9.9% rise. Imports contracted, falling 1.4% compared to the same month last year (August: +5.2% year-on-year). In the 12 months up to September, exports grew an annual 1.8%, down from August’s 2.0% increase. At the same time, imports increased 0.9% (August: +1.4% yoy), pushing up the 12-month trade balance from August’s EUR 247 billion to a record-high of EUR 249 billion in September.
In a recent statement, the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) commented that September’s data concluded a volatile third quarter for German exports, while still maintaining its upward trend. The BGA was nevertheless cautious about the prospects for trade since the difficult global environment is set to persist in the coming months and German trade will likely continue to experience fluctuations.
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist