global trade

German exports rise in August 2020, but at slower pace

Agence France-Presse

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German exports rise in August 2020, but at slower pace

This aerial view shows containers at the harbor of Duisburg, Germany, on May 8, 2020. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)


Exports, a key driver of German growth, remain highly dependent on how other countries are coping with the pandemic

German exports grew for the 4th straight month in August, official data showed Thursday, October 8, but the pace is slowing as Europe’s largest economy settles into a new economic normality after the coronavirus lockdowns of the spring.

Exports grew 2.4% month-on-month in August, after a 4.7% jump in July, federal statistics agency Destatis said in seasonally adjusted figures. 

Imports grew 5.8% in August.

Germany shipped goods abroad worth 91.2 billion euros ($107.3 billion) and imported goods worth 78.5 billion euros. 

The 4th consecutive monthly rise follows a steep plunge in activity in March and April when coronavirus lockdowns brought factories and businesses to a standstill.

Exports remain 10.2% below the same month a year earlier – and 9.9% below pre-crisis levels in February – while imports were down 7.9% on August 2019. 

The German economy has shown signs of a strong rebound in the 3rd quarter, mainly led by domestic demand as the country began easing virus restrictions in May.

Exports, a key driver of German growth, have played catch-up since then but remain highly dependent on how other countries are coping with the pandemic.

Experts say the momentum of Germany’s recovery appears to be slowing as countries around the world grapple with a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

While German exports to China fell by only 1.1% compared with August 2019, exports to the United States, which continues to be more affected by the pandemic, fell 21.1%.

“New restrictions on the back of increasing infections in many countries will also leave their marks on German exports…. Clearly there are more headwinds than tailwinds for the export sector,” ING economist Carsten Brzeski said.

Concerns are also mounting about Germany’s own spike in cases.

The country’s disease control agency recorded more than 4,000 new daily infections on Thursday for the first time since early April, prompting its head Lothar Wieler to warn that Germany could see an uncontrollable spread of the virus. –

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