Germany Exports & Imports Log Unexpected Fall

Germany’s exports and imports logged unexpected declines in January, data published by Destatis revealed on Friday.

Exports were down 2.8 percent month-on-month, reversing a 1.2 percent rise in December. Shipments were expected to climb 1.0 percent. This was the first decline in four months.

Likewise, imports decreased 4.2 percent, in contrast to the 4 percent increase a month ago. Economists had forecast a monthly growth of 2.0 percent. Imports fell for the first time since last July.

As the decline in imports exceeded the fall in exports, the trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 9.4 billion from EUR 8.1 billion in the previous month. The expected level was EUR 6.1 billion.

On a yearly basis, exports growth slowed to 11.0 percent from 15.5 percent in December. Similarly, growth in imports eased to 25.6 percent from 28.1 percent a month ago.

The trade surplus declined to an unadjusted EUR 3.5 billion from EUR 14.2 billion in the same period last year.

Exports were up 4.0 percent and imports by 17.8 percent in January compared with February 2020, the month before restrictions were imposed due to the corona pandemic in Germany.

Data showed that German exports to the EU countries dropped 9.6 percent and imports from those countries by 6.8 percent. At the same time, shipments to euro area decreased 8.8 percent and imports from those nations fell 7.1 percent.

Most German exports went to the United States in January, with goods exports up 3.0 percent and shipments to China advanced 13.7 percent. Exports to the United Kingdom gained 2.4 percent.

As the trade with the Russian Federation was not yet restricted in January by the sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, German exports rose 14.4 percent to EUR 2.6 billion from December.

Most imports to Germany came from China. Imports from China dropped 6 percent, while imports from the US grew 2 percent.

Imports from Russia advanced 18.9 percent and that from the UK gained only 0.4 percent.

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