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German foreign trade chambers present gloomier export outlook

Germany's umbrella organization for its chambers of commerce has warned exports this year will not expand as strongly as predicted in the beginning of the year, citing geopolitical crises weighing on trade.


Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK)

said Thursday German companies' exports would not grow by more than 3.5 percent throughout the current year, thus revising its prediction of a 4.5-percent expansion made at the beginning of 2014.

DIHK officials said expectations were lowered on the basis of its latest poll among Germany's chambers of commerce abroad.

"2014 is emerging as a year of geopolitical trouble," DIHK Foreign Trade Chief Volker Treier said in a statement published on the umbrella organization's website.

Sanctions spiral are a headache

Treier specifically reported about widespread worries among traders related to EU sanctions against Russia and the Kremlin's recent countermeasures. But he also cited a cooler business climate in a number of fellow European nations and emerging economies.

"What it will boil down to is that German exporters will see their overall turnover reduced by some 11 billion euros ($14.7 billion) this year," Treier predicted, adding that this could jeopardize up to 100,000 jobs.

In its latest global economic outlook, DIHK expects worldwide growth to come in at just 3.2 percent in 2014. That would be followed by a 3.8-percent expansion next year, with German exports gaining 5 percent in 2015 should geopolitical tensions ease between the West and Russia over the Ukraine conflict.

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