Exports post surprise plus in August

Exports post surprise plus in August
Photo: DPA
Germany’s export machine is outperforming analysts’ expectations, with official data released Monday showing a 2.4 percent increase in exports for August. Economists had been forecasting a drop of 0.6 percent.

Europe’s biggest economy exported goods worth a total €95 billion in seasonally-adjusted terms in August, 2.4 percent more than in July, the national statistics office Destatis said.

Imports were up 0.3 percent at €76.7 billion, so that the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus grew to €18.3 billion in August from €16.3 billion in July. Growth in exports was fuelled by trade with countries outside the eurozone.

But economists say the data is not necessarily indicative of a longer-term trend in the making.

“We see this as more of a positive ‘one-off’ result,” Ulrike Kastens from private bank, Sal. Oppenheim told Financial Times Deutschland (FTD). “The trend for the coming months points more to a decrease.”

German business confidence has been flagging of late – but experts say the trade figures could have a stabilising effect on the German economy.

“The August export numbers clearly increase the likelihood of positive German growth in the third quarter after all,” Dekabank economist Andreas Scheuerle told the FTD.

Taking the eight months to August as a whole, German exports rose 5.5 percent over the year-earlier period to €734.1 billion in unadjusted terms, while imports were up 2.1 percent at €607.5 billion.

That meant the January-August trade surplus increased by 25.5 percent to €126.6 billion.

AFP/DPA/The Local/arp

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