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Germany Trade Balance Swings To Deficit; Exports Unexpectedly Fall

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Germany's trade balance logged an unexpected deficit in May as trade disruption dampened exports, while rising energy prices pushed up imports, data from Destatis showed on Monday.

Exports dropped unexpectedly by 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in May, reversing April's 4.4 increase. Shipments were forecast to grow 0.9 percent.

At the same time, imports advanced 2.7 percent, exceeding the expected rate of 0.9 percent but slower than the 3.5 percent increase posted in April.

As a result, the trade balance showed a deficit of EUR 1 billion in contrast to a EUR 3.1 billion surplus seen in April. Economists had forecast the surplus to fall to EUR 2.7 billion.

Exports to the EU countries dropped 2.8 percent, while imports from those countries grew 2.5 percent.

Most German exports went to the United States in May, up 5.7 percent and imports from the US gained 9.7 percent.

In May, shipments to the Russian Federation advanced 29.4 percent on month after dropping sharply by nearly 60 percent in March and by 9.9 percent in April. On the other hand, imports from Russia declined 9.8 percent in May.

On a yearly basis, overall exports growth accelerated to 19.0 percent in May from 9.3 percent in the previous month and the increase in imports rose to 33.6 percent from 25.8 percent.

The unadjusted foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 0.5 billion in May compared to a surplus of EUR12.4 billion in the previous year.

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