Munich’s IFO institute for economic research announced on Thursday that 2013 is set to be a record year for Germany, with the trade surplus – the difference between exports and imports – expected to hit the €200 billion mark thanks to an upturn in global trade.
In the first six months of the year the surplus was €96 billion which was 7.2 percent of GDP, above the threshold set by the EU Commission which regards anything above six percent is unstable.
The IFO institute described Germany as the “greatest exporter of goods in the world,” newspaper the Welt reported.
But in July the trade surplus narrowed slightly according to data published by the federal statistics office Destatis on Friday.
Germany exported goods worth €90.3 billion in July, down from €91.2 billion euros in June. Imports increased fractionally to €75.8 billion from €75.4 billion.
That meant the trade surplus narrowed to €14.5 billion euros in July.
Thursday brought some positive economic news for Europe with growth forecasts revised slightly upwards for this year.
Projections from the European Central Bank (ECB) saw the eurozone economy shrinking by 0.4 percent this year and then growing by 1.0 percent next year.
The predictions were fractionally more optimistic with regard to growth this year, but they were more cautious about the outlook for next year. In the bank’s previous forecasts in June, the economy had been expected to contract by 0.6 percent in 2013 and grow by 1.1 percent in 2014.
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi tempered hopes that the eurozone was about to rebound strongly, insisting that the nascent recovery remained extremely fragile. “I am very, very cautious about recovery. I can’t share the enthusiasm,” he said.
He added that the central bank “stands ready to act” should the situation suddenly deteriorate again in face of, for example, geo-political risks related to the situation in Syria.