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Financial News: German Exports Fall Most Since 1950

German Exports Fall Most Since 1950

06/09/2020 - 02:49:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Germany's exports declined at the sharpest pace since records began in 1950 due to the lockdown measures taken by economies across the globe, data published by Destatis revealed Tuesday.

Exports decreased 31.1 percent year-on-year in April following a 7.7 percent drop in March. This was the biggest fall since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950.

At the same time, imports decreased 21.6 percent annually after falling 4.4 percent a month ago. The last time imports went down that much was in July 2009 during the global financial crisis.

Consequently, the trade surplus declined to EUR 3.5 billion, the lowest since December 2000, from EUR 17.8 billion in the same period last year.

On a monthly basis, the decline in exports deepened to 24 percent from 11.7 percent in March. Economists had forecast a monthly fall of 15.6 percent.

Likewise, imports fell 16.5 percent after easing 5 percent a month ago. Imports were expected to decrease 16 percent.

Both exports and imports reported the strongest month-on-month decline since the beginning of the time series in August 1990.

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus totaled EUR 3.2 billion versus EUR 12.8 billion a month ago. This was well below the expected level of EUR 10 billion. The current account of the balance of payments showed a surplus of EUR 7.7 billion in April compared to EUR 20.6 billion a year ago.

Exports to China decreased only 12.6 percent from the last year in April. Meanwhile, shipments to the countries hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic dropped sharply.

Exports to France were down 48.3 percent and that to Italy plunged 40.1 percent. Similarly, exports to the United States fell 35.8 percent.

Looking ahead, Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist said, while April was the worst month ever in terms of most economic data releases, the month of May could become one of the best months ever.

There will definitely be a temporary rebound in the export sector but structural challenges including trade tensions, Brexit and global supply chain disruptions, do not bode very well for the medium-term outlook.

A rebound here in the coming months will not be the same as a return to normality, the economist noted.

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