German Exports and Imports Remain Strong Despite Sluggish Trade Data
Germany’s economic data once again pointed that manufacturers in Europe's largest economy have shifted into a lower gear over the summer months. Still, after yesterday’s disappointing industrial production data, today’s trade data was unable to bring significant relief.
In August, German exports fell by 0.1% month-on-month, from -0.9% in July. Economists had expected a 0.3% gain. However, exports rose by 2.2% yoy. Imports dropped by 2.7% mom, below a predicted 0.2% fall. On annual basis, imports surged by 6.2%.
The seasonally adjusted trade surplus widened to 18.3 billion euros ($21.02 billion) in August from 15.9 billion in July. Germany's wider current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, rose to 15.3 billion euros from 15.1 billion euros in July.
The ongoing trade tensions have not led to any structural changes in the German export sector. Exports to most main trading partners have remained broadly unchanged since the start of the year. The US is still Germany’s single most important export destination, followed by France, the Netherlands and China.
Analysts expect further growth in German exports despite a widening of the trade conflict between the US and China as well as by a general cooling of the global economy and uncertainties over the economic impact of Britain's exit from the European Union.