Thursday, 9 February, 2023

German exports slump as trade with China slows

German exports slump as trade with China slows

FRANKFURT: German export numbers fell in November, official data showed Thursday, as trading activity with its biggest commercial partners, including China, slowed.

Germany exported 135.1 billion euros' ($143.2 billion) worth of goods in November, a 0.3-percent drop on the previous month, according to seasonally-adjusted figures from federal statistics agency Destatis, reports AFP.

The dip surprised analysts surveyed by FactSet, who had expected a slight jump in exports.

Destatis, however, revised figures for October upwards, showing a 0.8 increase on the previous month, instead of the 0.6-percent drop previously announced.

Exports in November 2022 were also 13.3 percent above their level of 2021, according to the stats body.

Outgoing trade with EU countries fell by 0.4 percent to 73 billion euros, as the bloc suffered an economic slowdown related to the war in Ukraine and the high price of energy.

Exports to non-EU countries fell by 0.1 percent overall. In particular, exports to China fell by 1.5 percent to 8.8 billion euros, as the Asian giant was battered by new waves of coronavirus infections.

The United States likewise imported 1.5 percent fewer goods "made in Germany", for a total of 13.7 billion euros.

Moving in the other direction, German imports fell by 3.3 percent to 124.4 billion euros, with a 7.8-percent drop in goods from China.

"The ongoing weakness in exports in the fourth quarter suggests that recession fears are real," said Carsten Brzeski, head of macro at ING bank.

The German government has forecast the economy to shrink by 0.4 percent in 2023.