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German Exports Log Marginal Growth; Imports Recover

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Germany's exports expanded at a marginal pace in May, while imports grew after falling in April, data from Destatis revealed on Thursday.

Exports grew only 0.3 percent month-on-month in May, following a 0.2 percent rise in April. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.6 percent.

At the same time, imports advanced 3.4 percent, reversing a 1.4 percent drop in the previous month. Exports were forecast to grow 0.4 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus fell to a 13-month low of EUR 12.6 billion from EUR 15.6 billion in the previous month. This was also below the expected level of EUR 15.4 billion.

The export revival continues in Germany, albeit at a slower pace, but supply chain frictions could lead to more volatility in the months ahead, Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist, said.

Exports were 0.3 percent lower, while imports 9.4 percent higher than in February 2020, the month before restrictions were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic in Germany.

On a yearly basis, exports surged 36.4 percent after increasing 47.6 percent in April. Likewise, imports climbed 32.6 percent in May, following a 33.6 percent rise a month ago. The annual growth was basically due to the low level of foreign trade in the comparison month.

The trade surplus rose to an unadjusted EUR 12.3 billion from EUR 7 billion in the same period last year.

Further, data showed that the current account surplus increased to EUR 13.1 billion from EUR 7.1 billion in the last year.

Exports to the euro area countries surged 40.2 percent and imports from those countries advanced 36.9 annually. Shipments to the United Kingdom were up 46.3 percent and imports from the UK gained 26.2 percent.

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