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Economy in Brief

German Trade Surplus Rises Strongly on Weak Imports
by Robert Brusca November 8, 2007

Imports fell by a sharp 2.6% as exports headed higher by 0.7% expanding the German trade surplus. Trends show that exports are still up strongly while imports are lagging with a 12.3% 3-month export growth rate matched against a 0.5% pace for imports for that same period. Over 6 and 12 months export growth continues to outdo imports. Note that the detailed growth rates in the table are executed from one month older data due to lagging observation availability. Germany may seem to be escaping an adverse impact on GDP by seeing its trade surplus widen but since the escape is due to weak imports, which may themselves reflect a weakening economy, it is too soon to make that judgment.

German Trade in Goods Trends
  m/m% % Saar
  Sep-07 Aug-07 3M 6M 12M
Balance* €€ 17.86 €€ 15.57 €€ 16.66 €€ 16.40 €€ 16.16
EXPORTS
All Exports 0.7% 2.4% 12.3% 10.8% 5.4%
Capital Goods -- 2.1% 16.6% 7.5% 10.9%
Motor Vehicles -- -0.5% 16.4% 8.9% 12.6%
Consumer Goods -- 4.7% 36.1% 17.4% 14.3%
IMPORTS
All Imports -2.6% 4.5% -0.5% 5.7% 1.4%
Capital Goods -- 9.2% 39.2% 1.6% 0.6%
Motor Vehicles -- 16.7% 50.6% 34.5% 18.8%
Consumer Goods -- 5.0% 68.4% 9.4% 11.7%
*Billions of Euros; mo or period average; shaded area trends lag one month
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