Surprisingly Large Drop in German Exports

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog08-10-2023

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Weak demand on global markets is putting increasing pressure on the German economy. Exports fell more than expected for the second consecutive month.


German exports fell for the second consecutive month in August. The Federal Statistical Office announced today that exports fell by 1.2% year-on-year to €127.9 billion. Experts had previously expected a drop of only 0.4%. exports had already fallen by 1.9% in July. Imports also fell: by 0.4% to 114.4 billion euros. Economists had previously expected the region's economy to grow by 0.5%.


Exports to EU countries fell 1.5% to 69.6 billion euros in August from a year earlier, while other foreign business fell 0.9% to 58.3 billion euros. The United States remained the top buyer country. Exports to China rose slightly.



"The outlook remains cloudy."

Bastian Hepperle, an economist at private bank Hauck Aufhäuser Lamp, said, "The German export sector is in a difficult position and the outlook remains very cloudy. Weak global demand is having an increasing impact on companies."


Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING, also judged that "frictional losses in the supply chain, a more fragmented global economy, and China's growing ability to produce goods previously purchased from Germany are putting pressure on the German export economy."



High interest rates dampen demand

The mood in the export sector is now worse than it has been for more than three years. The export expectations barometer fell to minus 11.3 points in September, down from minus 6.5 points in August, according to the ifo Institute in Munich.


"The export economy is in a weak phase," said Klaus Wohlrabe, head of the Ifo survey. One reason is that many central banks have raised key interest rates sharply to fight inflation. This has pushed up financing costs. "Rising global interest rates are having an impact," Wohlrabe said. "They are dampening demand for German goods."


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