Germany: Exports contract more than expected
April 9, 2013
In February, the seasonally adjusted trade balance registered a EUR 17.1 billion surplus, which came in above both the EUR 15.6 billion surplus recorded in January and market expectations that had the trade surplus narrowing to EUR 15.0 billion.
Exports fell in February a seasonally and working-day adjusted 1.5% over the previous month, which contrasted the revised 1.3% increase recorded in January (previously reported: +1.4% month-on-month) and exceeded market expectations of a more modest fall (-0.5% mom). Imports followed suit and declined 3.8% over the previous month, contrasting the 3.3% gain observed in January.
Compared to February last year, overseas sales declined 2.8%, contrasting the 2.9% expansion in January. Consequently, in the 12 months up to February, exports grew 2.1% to EUR 1.1 trillion. Imports shrunk 5.8% year-on-year in February, which contrasted the 2.9% increase observed in January. Consequently, in the 12 months up to February, imports declined 0.3%, the first drop in more than two years.
The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) expects export growth to strengthen and expand 5% to reach EUR 1.2 trillion.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist