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Economy in Brief

Germany's Exports Rise On Weak Euro: Japan's Exports Rise On Strong Yen
by Louise Curley August 09,2010

German exports increased to 83.56 billion euros in June from 80.52 billion euros in May. Exports reached a low point of 62.33 billion euros in May, 2009 and have increased fairly steadily since then.  To some extent the rise may have been due to the decline in the euro that followed the Greek Crisis. The euro depreciated from 0.6708 euros to the dollar in November 2009 to 0.8181 euros to the dollar in June of this year. (Although the euro is usually quoted as Dollars/Euros, we have used Euros/Dollars to be comparable with the trends in the Yen/Dollar rate in the first chart. The more conventional way of stating the change would be to say the Euros declined from $1.4908 to $1.2223.)

In contrast to Germany where the Euro was falling, in Japan, the yen continued to strengthen, as shown in the first chart.In spite of the strengthening of the yen, exports began to rise in January 2009 from 29.0594 billion euros, reaching 51.1537 billion euros in June of this year. (We have measured Japanese exports in euros instead of yen for the sake of comparability with the German data.& Exports from Germany and Japan measured in euros are shown in the second chart.)

The fact that German exports rose over the past several months with a weak euro and Japanese exports rose with a strong yen is more the result of the rising demand associated with the beginnings of recovery from the steep recession than an exchange rate advantage.

2009 2008 2007
German Exports (Bil Euros) 83.56 80.52 74.65 78.68 71.17 801.76 981.68 968.42
Japanese Exports (Bil Euros) 51.15 46.30 46.89 48.85 41.49 416.13 532.10 520.7
US$/Euro 1.2223 1.2563 1.3417 13570 13680 1.3933 1.4704 1.3709
Euro/US$ 0.8181 0.7960 0.7453 0.7369 0.7310 0.7177 0.6801 0.7294
Yen US$ 91.01 91.79 93.53 90.26 90.23 93.52 103.34 117.76
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