German Exports Rise Unexpectedly; Imports Drop

Germany’s exports increased in July, while imports decreased from the previous month, raising hopes that foreign trade contributed positively to economic growth at the start of the third quarter.

Exports advanced 0.7 percent month-on-month in July, reversing a 0.1 percent fall in June, Destatis reported Monday. Meanwhile, imports dropped 1.5 percent, the biggest fall since last August, after rising 0.7 percent a month ago.

Exports were forecast to fall 0.5 percent monthly and imports to drop 0.3 percent.

The trade surplus increased to a seasonally adjusted EUR 20.2 billion from EUR 18 billion in June.

On a yearly basis, exports grew 3.8 percent, in contrast to an 8 percent increase in June. At the same time, imports fell at a slower pace of 0.9 percent following a 4.2 percent drop.

Consequently, the unadjusted trade surplus increased to EUR 21.4 billion from EUR 16.4 billion last year.

Data showed that the current account surplus totaled EUR 22.1 billion versus EUR 13.9 billion in the same period last year.

This morning’s trade data brings a very weak ray of sunshine, ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.

What is hurting German exports the most right now is not the direct impact from the US-Chinese trade conflict but the uncertainty, which has spread across the globe and has also paralyzed many European economies, the economist noted.

The German economy contracted 0.1 percent in the second quarter due to weak foreign demand. Citing risks of recession, calls for stimulus have strengthened.

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