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Robust trade with US helps German exports edge higher

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Tuesday 09 Feb 2021

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - German exports nudged higher in December, helped by strong trade with China and the US, official data showed on Tuesday.
According to Destatis, the Federal Statistics Office, German exports rose 0.1% on the previous month on a seasonally-adjusted basis, to €100.7bn, or by 2.7% on the same month a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting exports to ease marginally, held back by fresh lockdown restrictions.

Imports eased 0.1% on November to €85.9bn. On a yearly basis, imports rose 3.5%.

The foreign trade balance was €14.8bn, slightly ahead of consensus for €14.0bn, or €16.1bn on a seasonally-adjusted basis. That compares to €15.1bn in December 2019, and to a revised €16.7bn in November 2020.

Destatis said the majority of German exports went to America in 2020. Goods worth a total of €103.8bn were exported to the US in 2020, down 12.5% on 2019. The second ranked country was China, with €95.9bn of exports, down 0.1%.

Most imports came from China, with goods to the value of €116.2bn imported, up 5.6% year-on-year.

Total exports for 2020 were €1,204.7bn, down 9.3% year-on-year, while imports declined 7.1% in 2020 to €1,025.6bn. The trade balance for the year was €179.1bn.

Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "Growth in both imports and exports eased significantly at the end of last year."