Daily Memo: Troubling German Trade Figures

German exports have seen their largest monthly decline in decades.

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Troubling German trade figures. German exports declined in April by 24 percent month over month and 31.1 percent year over year – the largest monthly fall since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950. Broken down by region, the results vary. Exports to eurozone countries – which total 26.4 billion euros, or a third of all German exports – were down 34.8 percent from the previous year. Exports to France and Italy were hit particularly hard, down 48.3 percent and 40.1 percent respectively. Exports to the U.S. and U.K. dropped 35.8 percent and 42.1 percent respectively. Trade with China was less affected; exports there declined just 12.6 percent from the previous year. Exports remain a critical part of the German economy given that they account for approximately 47 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Some of Germany’s biggest customers have seen the largest declines in purchases – which is particularly concerning for the country’s future prospects. The drop is of course due to the shutdown of the global economy in April, suggesting exports may bounce back in May when lockdown measures began to ease. Third-quarter results will be a key indicator of the country’s economic outlook. Cutting ties. […]

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