Germany's exports declined at the sharpest pace in more than a year in November, reflecting weak demand as the euro area undergoes a severe economic downturn.
Exports fell 3.4 percent month-on-month in November, offsetting the previous month's 0.2 percent rise, data published by Destatis showed Tuesday. Economists had forecast shipments to drop just 0.5 percent.
At the same time, imports dropped unexpectedly by 3.7 percent on a monthly basis, reversing a 2.9 percent rise in October. Imports were forecast to climb 0.5 percent.
As the decline in imports exceeded the fall in exports, the trade surplus rose to EUR 17 billion from EUR 15.7 billion in the previous month. The November figure was bigger than a EUR 15.8 billion surplus forecast by economists.
The current account surplus rose to EUR 15.3 billion from EUR 13.2 billion in October. The expected surplus was EUR 16 billion.
On a yearly basis, exports remained flat after surging 10.5 percent in October. Likewise, imports dropped 1.2 percent in November versus a 6 percent growth last month.
German dispatches to the EU countries decreased 4 percent, and arrivals from those countries increased by 0.9 percent. Exports to euro area slipped 5.7 percent, while imports grew 1.1 percent.
Exports of commodities to countries outside the European Union totaled EUR 41.1 billion in November, up 5.6 percent, while imports from those countries decreased 4.9 percent to EUR 27 billion.
Suggesting that domestic demand remains robust, retail sales increased 1.2 percent month-on-month in November. The recent Purchasing Managers' survey showed that the private sector expanded for the first time in eight months in December.
by RTT Staff Writer
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