German exports rise again in Sept

10 November, 2020 12:00 AM printer

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Germany’s exports rose for the fifth straight month in September, official data showed Monday, with China leading recovering demand as many Asian economies put the coronavirus pandemic behind them.

Exports grew 2.3 percent month-on-month, after a 2.4 percent rise in August, federal statistics agency Destatis said in seasonally adjusted figures.

Imports fell 0.1 percent in August.

Germany shipped goods abroad worth 109.8 billion euros ($130.3 billion) and imported goods worth 89 billion euros, reports AFP.

The fifth-straight rise follows a plunge in activity in March and April, when virus lockdowns closed factories and businesses.

Exports in September were still 3.8 percent down on the same month last year, and 7.7 percent below the pre-crisis level of February 2020.

While the German economy strongly rebounded in the third quarter—growing 8.2 percent after contracting 9.8 percent in the spring—new shutdowns announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel that closed restaurants and cafes, the leisure and cultural sectors, will squeeze consumer spending in November.

However, the new regulations do not close factories or manufacturing businesses, including Germany’s key car industry, which should reduce some of the economic impact on exports.

But international trade remains dependent on how other countries are dealing with the pandemic.

Exports to China rose 10.6 percent year-on-year, but exports to the United States, which is struggling with record high coronavirus case rates, were down 5.8 percent, and to Britain down by 12.4 percent.

Meanwhile, exports to Germany’s biggest market—the European Union—slipped 3.3 percent in the month compared with August.