German exports lower than expected in July

| September 8, 2011

Statistics office Destatis has today revealed German exports and imports fell in July – more than expected.

According to Destatis, exports fell by 1.8% in July on a monthly basis compared with a 1.2% drop in June.

Economists had forecast a 0.1% fall for the month.

The sharp fall in exports will be of grave concern for the country’s Government. Export demand helped to bring Germany out of recession in the second quarter of 2009 – much sooner than many of its counterparts throughout the world.

It is the world’s second largest exporter after China.

July represented the 3rd contraction for exports in the last 4 months and suggest a protracted slowdown in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, imports were 0.3% lower in July on a monthly basis – again confounding expectations of a 0.2% rise.

Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy, has been driving the recovery of the region but recent data has suggested the economy is faltering.

Last month, Destatis revealed the economy grew by just 0.1% in the April to June period – much less than the 0.5% expected by analysts and much slower than the 1.3% growth in the previous three months.

Furthermore, Markit recently announced Germany’s manufacturing and service sectors saw their weakest rate of growth for almost two years last month.

As a result of today’s figures, the country’s trade surplus narrowed to €10.1 billion (£8.9 billion) in July from €11.5 billion the previous month, said the statistics office.

In the meantime, separate data showed France’s exports rose 0.3% in July, while imports also gained, by almost 3%.

Imports rose on the back of an increase in refined oil products, transportation equipment and computer products going into the country.

The country’s trade deficit widened to €6.5 billion in July from €5.4 billion in June.

Meanwhile, exports to the 27-member European Union were 3.9% higher at €49.7 billion in July on an annual basis.

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