Business: Sharpest decline in German exports in February since 2018

Germany exported goods valued at 108.8 billion euros (122.3 billion U.S. dollars) in February 2019, the sharpest fall in exports than at any time over the past year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Monday

Meanwhile, the country imported goods worth 90.9 billion euros in February 2019.

German exports increased by 3.9 percent and imports by 5.1 percent in February 2019. But after calendar and seasonal adjustment, exports were down 1.3 percent and imports down 1.6 percent compared with the previous month.

“In January 2019, exports were significantly higher than the average for the fourth quarter of 2018, with the backlog of car exports following production problems in the second half of 2018 and inventory build-up in the UK in view of the imminent Brexit crisis,” said Oliver Holtemoeller, vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), speaking to Xinhua on Monday.

In calendar and seasonally adjusted terms, Germany’s foreign trade balance recorded a surplus of 18.7 billion euros in February 2019, higher than a surplus of 18.3 billion euros the previous February.

“In line with the weaker global economy, export momentum is now likely to slow again somewhat,” said Holtemoeller, adding that “in this respect, the weakening in February compared with January fits the picture.”

Germany exported goods worth 65.7 billion euros to other European Union member states in February and imported goods worth 53.2 billion euros from EU countries in February. Compared with the previous year, exports to EU member states rose by 3.8 percent while imports increased by 6.7 percent.

Exports to the Euro area countries grew by 3.2 percent in February 2019, while imports from them rose 7.5 percent. Non-euro area exports increased by 4.8 percent, while import were up 5.1 percent.

Compared with February 2018, exports to third countries, those outside the EU, increased by 4.1 percent to 43.1 billion euros. German imports from third countries rose by 3 percent to 37.7 billion euros.