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Economy in Brief

German Trade Surplus Expands
by Robert Brusca  July 8, 2011

German exports outpaced imports in May helping to boost the German surplus in May. But real export orders are turning lower. Exports orders fell by 5.8% and are declining at accelerating pace over the least three-months and six months.

The German economy has been showing signs of better domestic growth. As of this report exports are still outpacing imports. But the real side data as of May showed that real exports were starting to lag real import growth. In the May data on orders we can see that export orders are weakening for Germany even as the nominal trade flows hold to strong trends. So this month’s improvement in the trade picture may be somewhat of a last hurrah for German trade.

With growth weakening around Germany in the Zone it will be harder for German exports to maintain their growth. The slowing in China is another obstacle. Right now growth in Europe is challenged. Germany is a real bright spot, but not without its challenges. Expect these dynamics to play out on the trade flows in the months ahead.

German Trade Trends for Goods
  M/M% % SAAR
  May-11 Apr-11 3Mo 6Mo 12M 12MPrev 2Yr Ago
Balance* € 12.81 € 11.91 € 13.28 € 12.85 € 12.92 € 12.53 € 11.84
Nominal EXPORTS
Goods Exports 4.3% -5.6% 24.3% 16.7% 11.8% 41.9% 9.0%
Capital gds   -4.9% 33.3% 9.2% 15.5% 21.0% -27.8%
Motor Vehicles   -1.0% 26.0% 13.3% 18.3% 44.7% -42.9%
Consumer Gds   -1.1% 22.1% 9.9% 13.4% 2.2% -11.0%
Nominal IMPORTS
Goods Imports 3.7% -2.5% 18.7% 16.9% 10.4% 47.2% 14.3%
Capital goods   -2.5% 7.9% 7.6% 15.6% 6.4% -11.2%
Motor Vehicles   -4.7% -5.7% 4.0% 20.7% -0.2% -16.2%
Consumer goods   -3.5% -6.5% -0.1% 10.5% 5.4% -10.1%
ratio X:M 116.7% 116.1% 115.4% 121.0% 122.0% 118.8% 125.6%
Real X -orders -5.8% 3.5% -19.8% -10.9% 6.4% 36.6% -8.3%
Real Exports   -6.2% 16.0% 1.0% 11.1% 13.0% -22.4%
Real Imports   -1.9% 7.9% 3.8% 12.2% 7.4% -12.0%
Real Ratio X:M   122.5% 121.3% 124.2% 123.7% 117.6% 133.3%
*Eur Blns; Mo or Period Average; Shaded Area Trends Lag One Mo
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