• Germany's news in English

Trade surplus jumps as euro slumps

AFP · 10 May 2010, 09:54

Published: 10 May 2010 09:54 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The trade surplus for Europe's biggest economy jumped to €17.2 billion ($22.2 billion), from €12.7 billion in February according to figures released by the national statistics office.

The result was also much larger than expected, topping an average analyst forecast of €14 billion compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

German exports were largely responsible for the gain, posting an increase of 23.3 percent in March compared with the same month a year earlier, while imports were 18.3 percent higher.

According to figures provided by the German central bank, the country's current account of the balance of payments - a broad measure of trade with other countries - showed a surplus of €18 billion in March. That was also well above a forecast of €12.5 billion, and the March 2009 figure of €12.3 billion.

Germany lost its title of leading global exporter to China last year but is getting a boost now from the euro's fall in value against other major currencies as a result of the Greek debt crisis.

On Monday, Europe's single currency traded for $1.29 after bouncing back from €1.2523 - its lowest level since March 2009 - following the announcement of a massive eurozone rescue package worth more than €750 billion.

A top German economist said Sunday the euro could weaken to parity with the US dollar, "as long as uncertainty over Greece and other countries on the periphery of the euro area continues."

Thomas Mayer, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, told the Bild am Sonntag weekly: "I think we could soon see 1.20 against the dollar and a further decline in the direction of parity is definitely possible."

That would cause energy prices in the eurozone to spike however, and probably set inflation back on a sharply steeper upwards curve.

Story continues below…

On a monthly basis meanwhile, German exports gained a seasonally corrected 10.7 percent in March, while imports were up by 11.0 percent, the Destatis data showed.

Exports have helped the German economy emerge from its worst recession since World War II, and the economy ministry said Friday that industrial output shot up by four percent in March, a day after unveiling a spike in industrial orders.

"In light of the robust upturn in domestic and foreign demand for industrial output, it should continue in the coming months," a ministry statement said.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd