German trade balance in deficit as exports fall


German exports fell last month, official data showed on Monday, pushing the country’s trade balance into a surprise deficit.

According DestatisAccording to the Federal Statistical Office, German exports fell by 0.5% in May, while imports increased by 2.7% on a calendar-adjusted and seasonally adjusted basis, compared to April.

In total, Germany exported goods worth €125.8 billion and imported goods worth £126.7 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of 1. 0 billion euros compared to a revised surplus of 3.0 billion euros in April. Analysts had expected a surplus of around 2.7 billion euros.

It is the first time the eurozone’s biggest economy – which is heavily dependent on exports – has posted a monthly deficit since 1991.

Exports to the European Union fell 2.8% from April, while imports rose 2.5%. Excluding the bloc, exports increased by 2.3% and imports by 2.9%. Exports to the Russian Federation rose 29.4%, after falling nearly 60% in April, while imports fell 9.8%.

Claus Vistesen, Chief Eurozone Economist at Macroeconomics Hall of Fame, said: “Germany’s trade surplus has now evaporated, mainly thanks to surging imports, offsetting otherwise decent momentum in exports. We always thought the consensus looked a little too optimistic, given the obvious risk of export mean reversion.

“Looking ahead, we believe that the external balance will remain in deficit over the summer, but the confidence interval around this forecast is wider than usual. The sharp slowdown in Russian gas supply will lower the volume of imports, as the economy’s energy supply is under pressure, but the value of imports will increase as the overall cost of energy imports increases.

Compared to May 2021, when large parts of the world were in lockdown, exports increased by 11.7% and imports by 27.8%.


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