German exports remained unchanged from January in February, suggesting that Europe's largest economy continues to resist the force of the global slowdown and the rise in the euro, but that adding export on top of export may be getting harder and harder to do. Even more to the point, a change in the distribution of German exports is taking place on the margin, since while the pace of expansion to EU countries slowed from 7.7% in January to 6.7% in February, the pace of expansion to non EU countries (and we could think here in particular of Russia perhaps) rose from 11.5% in January to 13.5% in February. So rising demand in Russia (and to a lesser extent China) is making up for declining demand from Spain and Italy as their economies slow. This is now a delicate balancing act, and we will need to watch carefully what happens in March and April.
German sales abroad, when adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, were unchanged from January, when they rose 3.6 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Imports were down a seasonally adjusted 0.4% from January, reflecting the fact that internal demand in Gemany could hardly be called "vibrant" at the present time. Exports rose 9 percent year on year, while imports were up 7%.
Germany exported goods to the value of EUR 84.6 billion and imported goods to the value of EUR 67.7 billion in February 2008. The foreign trade balance was in surplus by EUR 16.9 billion. In February 2007, the surplus was EUR 14.3 billion.
According to provisional results from the Deutsche Bundesbank, the German current account showed a surplus of EUR 15.4 billion in February 2008, which included the balance of services (EUR –0.0 billion), factor income (net) (EUR +4.2 billion), current transfers (EUR –5.0 billion) and supplementary trade items (EUR –0.6 billion). In February 2007, the German current account showed a surplus of EUR 11.4 billion.
In February 2008, Germany sold goods to the value of EUR 54.7 billion to the Member States of the European Union, while it received goods to the value of EUR 44.1 billion from those countries. Compared with February 2007, dispatches to and arrivals from the EU countries increased by 6.7% and 9.1%, respectively. Goods to the value of EUR 36.3 billion (+5.6%) were dispatched to the euro area countries in February 2008, while the value of goods received from those countries was EUR 30.7 billion (+8.6%). Goods to the value of EUR 18.3 billion (+9.1%) were dispatched to EU countries not belonging to the euro area in February 2008, while the value of the goods which arrived from those countries was EUR 13.4 billion (+10.2%).
Germany exported goods to the value of EUR 30.0 billion to and imported goods to the value of EUR 23.6 billion from countries outside the European Union (third countries) in February 2008. Compared with February 2007, exports to third countries were up by 13.5% and imports from those countries by 3.3%.