Exports in Germany fell above expectations, with a 2.4% drop on a monthly basis in September.
Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) published the country’s foreign trade data for September.
According to Destatis data, exports adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects decreased by 2.4% in September compared to the previous month, reaching 126.5 billion euros. This figure was recorded as a decrease above market expectations; Market expectation was that September exports would decrease by 1.1%.
In September, imports decreased by 1.7% to 110 billion euros. This means that Germany’s foreign trade surplus, adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects, is 16.5 billion euros. In September 2022, this surplus stood at 5 billion euros.
On an annual basis, exports decreased by 7.5%, while imports decreased by 16.6%. 69.8 billion euros of September’s exports were directed to European Union (EU) countries, and 58.7 billion euros of imports came from EU countries.
While exports to EU countries decreased by 2.1% compared to August, imports from these countries decreased by 2.6%.
According to Destatis data, exports to China, Germany’s most important trade partner, decreased by 7.3% compared to August, falling to 7.3 billion euros. In the same period, exports to the USA decreased by 4% to 12.8 billion euros, and exports to Russia decreased by 11.2% to 600 million euros in September. Imports from Russia increased by 7.5% and reached 200 million euros.
According to analysts, the slowdown in global growth, the decline in industrial production and consumers’ efforts to cope with rising inflation are among the factors that negatively affect German exports.
ING Global Macro Research Head and Germany Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski, in his assessment on the subject, said, “Foreign trade is no longer the strong and durable growth driver of the German economy, on the contrary, it constitutes an obstacle.” Using his expressions, he stated that the export sector, like the rest of the German economy, is stuck in a thin line between recession and stagnation. He also emphasized that factors such as supply chain disruptions, a more fragmented global economy and the fact that China increasingly tends to become a rival country rather than just a target market are weighing on the German export sector.