German exports see major slump in June

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-09 20:37:16|Editor: Lu Hui
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BERLIN, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Germany exported goods to the value of 106.1 billion euros (118.58 billion euros) in June 2019, a decline of 8 percent year-on-year, according to figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Friday.

German imports also declined slightly in June by 4.4 percent from the previous year to 89.3 billion euros, Destatis announced.

"This probably reflects the global development towards more protectionism and less free trade," Oliver Holtemoeller, vice president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), told Xinhua.

In addition, "global production is weak", which disproportionately affected German exports due to "German exporters' specialization in investment goods like machinery and equipment," added Holtemoeller.

After calendar and seasonal adjustment, German exports fell by 0.1 percent compared to the previous month, after a plus of 1.3 percent in May, said the Office.

"The decline compared to the previous month has been quite modest which possibly indicates that exports might not decline much further," Holtemoeller noted.

German exports were still up slightly in the first half of 2019 as a whole, increasing by 3.6 billion euros excluding calendar and seasonal adjustments, the figures showed.

In the first half of 2019, German companies exported 666.1 billion euros' worth of goods, while imports rose by 16.1 billion euros to 556.2 billion euros compared to the previous year, the statistical office showed.

Surplus in foreign trade balance fell slightly to 118.8 billion euros in the first half of 2019 from 121.3 billion euros in the previous year.

The European Union (EU) member states were Germany's largest foreign market, importing 63.5 billion euro worth of German goods in June, 6.2 percent less than the same period last year.

Germany exported goods worth 42.6 billion euros to countries outside the EU in June, down 10.7 percent compared with 2018, Destatis noted.

The German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) recently halved its forecast for German exports and was expecting exports to grow by 1.5 percent in 2019.

The outlook from many research institutes for German economic growth was also less optimistic in recent months, with many institutes lowering their forecasts for growth in 2019. The government said it was only expecting a plus of 0.5 percent.