Figures show 2014 was record year for exports

Trade with the United Kingdom and other EU partners played a big role in Germany's record exports, which totalled €1.134 trillion in 2014, the Federal Statistics Agency (Destatis) said on Monday.

Figures show 2014 was record year for exports
Photo: DPA

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, clocked up a record volume of exports and attained its largest ever trade surplus in 2014, data compiled by Destatis showed on Monday.

Germany exported a record €1.134 trillion worth of goods last year and imported goods worth €916.5 billion.

That pushed the trade surplus – the balance between imports and exports – to an annual total of €217 billion, Destatis calculated in a statement. 

"The exorts and imports exceeded the previous record high set in 2012," said a statistician. 

Trade with eurozone partners Great Britain and Poland were key to the record numbers. Destatis reported that 10.2 percent of all trade with the EU went to those two countries.

In December alone, Germany exported goods worth a total of €98.7 billion in seasonally adjusted terms, an increase of 3.4 percent from November, Destatis said.

Imports, on the other hand, fell by 0.8 percent to 76.9 billion euros.

That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus expanded to €21.8 billion in December from €17.9 billion in November.

Economics think tank Ifo had said last week that it predicted the German current account surplus would be €220 billion, which was just €3 billion off the mark, but still leaves the European leader with the biggest surplus globally


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


German consumer prices set to rise steeply amid war in Ukraine

Russia's war in Ukraine is slowing down the economy and accelerating inflation in Germany, the Ifo Institute has claimed.

German consumer prices set to rise steeply amid war in Ukraine

According to the Munich-based economics institute, inflation is expected to rise from 5.1 to 6.1 percent in March. This would be the steepest rise in consumer prices since 1982.

Over the past few months, consumers in Germany have already had to battle with huge hikes in energy costs, fuel prices and increases in the price of other everyday commodities.


With Russia and Ukraine representing major suppliers of wheat and grain, further price rises in the food market are also expected, putting an additional strain on tight incomes. 

At the same time, the ongoing conflict is set to put a dampener on the country’s annual growth forecasts. 

“We only expect growth of between 2.2 and 3.1 percent this year,” Ifo’s head of economic research Timo Wollmershäuser said on Wednesday. 

Due to the increase in the cost of living, consumers in Germany could lose around €6 billion in purchasing power by the end of March alone.

With public life in Germany returning to normal and manufacturers’ order books filling up, a significant rebound in the economy was expected this year. 

But the war “is dampening the economy through significantly higher commodity prices, sanctions, increasing supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products as well as increased economic uncertainty”, Wollmershäuser said.

Because of the current uncertainly, the Ifo Institute calculated two separate forecasts for the upcoming year.

In the optimistic scenario, the price of oil falls gradually from the current €101 per barrel to €82 by the end of the year, and the price of natural gas falls in parallel.

In the pessimistic scenario, the oil price rises to €140 per barrel by May and only then falls to €122 by the end of the year.

Energy costs have a particularly strong impact on private consumer spending.

They could rise between 3.7 and 5 percent, depending on the developments in Ukraine, sanctions on Russia and the German government’s ability to source its energy. 

On Wednesday, German media reported that the government was in the process of thrashing out an additional set of measures designed to support consumers with their rising energy costs.

The hotly debated measures are expected to be finalised on Wednesday evening and could include increased subsidies, a mobility allowance, a fuel rebate and a child bonus for families. 

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s proposals for future energy price relief

In one piece of positive news, the number of unemployed people in Germany should fall to below 2.3 million, according to the Ifo Institute.

However, short-time work, known as Kurzarbeit in German, is likely to increase significantly in the pessimistic scenario.