Germany: Exports unexpectedly fall in January
March 10, 2011
In January, exports fell a seasonally and calendar adjusted 1.0% over the previous month, contrasting both the 0.5% increase observed in December and market expectations of a 0.7% rise. Meanwhile, imports bounced back in January, adding 2.3% over the previous month, which contrasted the 2.6% drop observed in December and overshot private sector analysts' expectations, which had seen imports growing 1.7%. On an annual basis, exports expanded 24.2% in January (December: +21.0% year-on-year) and imports grew 24.1% (December: +26.4% yoy), driving the trade balance to EUR 10.1 billion, down from the EUR 12.2 billion registered in December. Despite the ongoing recovery, exports still remain below the pre-crisis peak, with the moving 3-month sum in exports reaching EUR 248 billion in January, below the EUR 257 billion observed in November 2007. However, since the trough in June 2009 (EUR 192 billion), exports have recovered 28.9%. Exports are likely to remain on a favourable growth trajectory, as global demand continues to recover, particularly in emerging markets. In fact, Germany's BGA foreign trade organization has recently projected that the country's exports will expand up to 9.0% this year, pushing export value to EUR 1.0 trillion, which will shift exports above pre-crisis levels.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist