German Export Growth Tops Expectations

Germany’s exports grew more than expected in February reflecting strong demand from the US and China, official data revealed Tuesday.

Exports increased 4.0 percent from January, when shipments were up 2.5 percent, Destatis reported. This was the second consecutive rise. Growth was also better than the expected 1.6 percent gain.

At the same time, imports rebounded 4.6 percent month-on-month, in contrast to the 1.4 percent fall logged in January. This was much bigger than the expected growth of 1.0 percent.

The trade balance showed a stable surplus of EUR 16.0 billion in February. The trade surplus was forecast to increase to EUR 17.0 billion as economists widely expected imports to log a slower growth in February.

On a yearly basis, exports growth more than halved to 6.3 percent from 12.8 percent in the previous month. Likewise, imports grew 2.6 percent, weaker than January’s 9.1 percent expansion.

As a result, the trade surplus increased to an unadjusted EUR 16.9 billion from EUR 12.1 billion in the same period last year.

Most German exports went to the United States in February, with goods shipments rising 9.4 percent from the previous month.

Shipments to China advanced 10.2 percent and those to the UK grew only 2.5 percent.

Most imports to Germany came from China in February, which grew 6.7 percent, while imports from the US declined 8.7 percent and that from the UK slid 4.0 percent.

Exports to Russia declined 14.3 percent on month and imports from Russia plunged 67.2 percent.

Data showed that exports to the euro area gained 1.6 percent and imports from the currency bloc moved up 3.3 percent.

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