German exports in April down 0.5 pct from last year

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-07 22:14:52|Editor: xuxin
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BERLIN, June 7 (Xinhua) -- German exports in April 2019 were 0.5 percent lower than in April 2018, down 3.7 percent on the previous month of March, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Friday.

According to Destatis, Germany exported goods worth of 109.7 billion euros (123.6 billion U.S. dollars) in April and imported goods with a value of 91.7 billion euros.

Unlike total exports, the value of imported goods from Germany was 2.1 percent higher than in the same month last year but still 1.3 percent lower than in March.

However, during the first four months of 2019, Germany's exports of goods totaled 445.8 billion euros, 1.8 percent more compared with last year.

"Major causes for this weakness are risks stemming from trade conflicts and from a possible unorderly Brexit," Axel Lindner, deputy head of the Department of Macroeconomics of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) told Xinhua on Friday.

In April 2019, goods worth 63.8 billion euros were exported to members of the European Union and goods worth 53.1 billion euros were imported from there. Compared to April 2018, exports to EU members fell by 3.5 percent while imports from these countries increased by 1.9 percent.

According to Destatis, exports to third countries increased by 4.0 percent compared with April 2018, while imports rose by 2.4 percent. In April, Germany exported goods worth 45.8 billion euros while importing goods worth 38.6 billion euros to countries outside the European Union.

Outside the European Union, the United States and China are Germany's biggest export markets, according to Destatis. Within the European Union, France has been Germany's biggest export market in April, ahead of the Netherlands.

Also on Friday, Destatis announced that production in industry excluding energy and construction was down by 2.5 percent compared with the previous month.

According to provisional data from Destatis, production in the German industry fell by 1.9 percent compared with the previous month and by 1.8 percent on a year to year comparison.

"The extent of this contraction is surprising, but the negative trend of orders received from abroad has signaled a downturn in the export sector for some time now," Lindner added.