Germany: Exports tumble to a three-year low in December
February 8, 2012
In December, export fell a seasonally-adjusted and working-day adjusted 4.3% over the previous month, which contrasted the revised 2.6% rise observed in November (initially reported: +2.5% month-on-month). The reading undershot market expectations of a 1.0% decline and represented the steepest decline since January 2009. Meanwhile, imports dropped 3.9% over the previous month, which was below the revised 0.2% contraction registered in November and contrasted the 0.6% rise expected by analysts. In annual terms, exports expanded 5.0% in December, which was weaker than the 8.2% increase seen in November. Imports decelerated from a 7.0% increase in November to a 5.4% expansion in December. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed from EUR 15.9 billion in November to EUR 12.9 billion in December. In the full year 2011, exports grew 11.4% (2010: +18.5%), which pushed them above the EUR 1.0 trillion threshold for the first time. Imports expanded 13.2% (2010: +19.9%), to reach EUR 902 billion. The trade surplus recorded EUR 158 billion, slightly above the EUR 155 billion observed in 2010.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist