German trade surplus narrows on high imports
10 Sep 2017 - 1:49
Frankfurt: German imports outpaced exports in July, slightly narrowing the country’s massive and oft-criticised trade surplus, provisional data showed on Friday.
Exports from Europe’s economic powerhouse were up 0.2 percent compared with June while imports rose by 2.2 percent, federal statistics office Destatis said, as both figures rebounded from last month’s dips.
The bigger demand for goods from abroad lowered Germany’s trade surplus from ¤21.2bn ($25.5bn) in June to ¤19.5bn in July, according to calculations adjusted for seasonal swings. “German trade data just brought more evidence of a summer calm. A calm, however, which should be no reason to worry,” ING Diba bank analyst Carsten Brzeski (pictured) said.
“The country which often claims to be export world champion is still enjoying a strong export recovery,” he added, brushing off concerns about the recent rise in the euro. Demand for “made in Germany” goods was led by countries outside the European Union, Destatis noted, despite the stronger currency.
Exports to fellow EU states were up some six percent, while exports to the rest of the world jumped by nearly 10 percent, in year-on-year comparisons. Germany’s demand for goods from outside the EU surged more than 11 percent, while imports from inside the eurozone were up 7.5 percent.
The uptick in imports is unlikely however to silence critics of Germany’s huge trade surplus, the world’s largest which swelled to more than ¤250bn for the full year in 2016.
The United States, the International Monetary Fund and European neighbours regularly accuse Germany of not investing enough to allow other countries to benefit indirectly from its success.
US President Donald Trump has been among the loudest critics, calling its trade deficit with Germany “very bad for us”.