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German exports surge in August

October 10, 2017

Germany exported significantly more goods in August than it imported as the country’s economy continues to show all the signs of powerful growth in the third quarter, easing fears about a strong euro impacting trade.

Hamburg's harbor full of Hapag Lloyd containers
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Heimken

German exports outpaced imports significantly in August, in another indicator of the robust health of Europe's strongest economy.

According to information from Destatis, the country's official statistics office, Germany's seasonally adjusted month-on-month export figures rose by 3.1 percent in August, significantly more than the 1.2 percent rise in imports in the same period.

In direct terms, Germany exported goods to the value of 103.1 billion euros ($121.5 billion) and imported to the tune of 83 billion euros in the month of August.

Read more: The German economy in the 2017 election year

When the figures for August 2017 are considered in relation to last year's figures, the evidence of how strong this year is promising to be for the German economy is even more compelling — the value of German exports has risen by 7.2 percent from August 2016.

Bremerhaven Autoverladung 22.01.2014
Image: Getty Images

It means that Germany — one of the world's leading export powers — is continuing to expand its already huge budget surplus despite the euro's current strength (leading to more expensive products outside the eurozone) and other domestic and global concerns.

Firing on all cylinders

The relative strength of the euro has prompted recent discussion among several European analysts of potential risks to eurozone exports but there is little sign of that in Germany. Also, domestic political uncertainty around the formation of the next coalition government has had little evident negative economic impact so far.

The positive export figures come hot on the heels of further indicators that Germany has enjoyed strong growth in the third quarter of 2017. On Monday, it was announced that Germany's industrial production rate rose in August by its biggest rate in more than six years while recent figures show the country's unemployment rate is at its lowest in decades.

The German economy grew by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and by 0.6 percent in the second and all the indications suggest a further jump for the third quarter, pointing to strong annual economic growth overall in 2017.

On Wednesday, the German government will publish its latest projections for GDP, employment and inflation.

aos/tr (Reuters, AFP)