Germany: Trade surplus widens on strong rebound in exports
In March, the seasonally- and calendar-adjusted trade surplus rose to EUR 20.0 billion, from EUR 18.7 billion in February, as exports rebounded at a stronger pace than imports. Exports rose 1.5% month-on-month, swinging from a 1.2% contraction in February, while imports increased 0.4%, contrasting the 1.6% drop in the prior month.
On the other hand, both export and import growth slowed in March compared to the same month a year earlier. Exports recorded a modest 1.9% increase, easing from February’s 4.0% increase; however, the 12-month moving sum of exports picked up to 3.0% in March from 2.6% in February. Imports, meanwhile, expanded 4.5% year-on-year in March, down from 5.2% in February. The 12-month moving sum of exports accelerated to 6.0% in March from 5.5% in the prior month.
All told, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed slightly to EUR 225.7 billion surplus from a EUR 227.2 billion surplus in February.
Dr. Holger Bingmann, president of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA), stated the German external sector has done well in the first quarter despite a more challenging external environment. While Bingmann noted that the many headwinds cannot be overlooked, the president of the BGA also commented that “the grand coalition has to do its homework. In times of diminishing tax revenues, it is important to make smart and long-sighted decisions that will strengthen German firms and thereby improve the revenue base of public finances.”