Shipments to countries outside the EU increased 18 percent in April from a year earlier. Exports to EU countries rose 12 percent, while imports gained 11 percent.
The German trade surplus widenend to 18.7 billion euros in April, up from 16.6 billion euros in March. The surplus in the current account, the measure of all exports including services, narrowed to 14.5 billion euros from 17.5 billion euros in the previous month.
After the rapid expansion in the first quarter, growth is likely to be "more subdued'' in the second and third quarters according to a Bundesbank statement on June 6. Basically German exports are being given a boost by exports to place like Ukraine, Russia and the Middle East. Exports to other countries withing the Eurozone have now been near stationary since last summer, dragged down I imagine by the slowdown in Italy and Spain.
Manufacturing orders in Germany unexpectedly fell for the fifth month in succession and industrial production declined for a second month, reports showed last week.
Adding to German exporters woes is the fact that the euro has gained around 18 percent against the both the dollar and sterling over the past year, while the price of oil has more than doubled in the same period, topping $139 to set a record on June 6.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said in an interview on June 7 that surging energy costs will boost the country's inflation rate more than the government previously expected, draining the purchasing power of companies and consumers. Inflation could be ``around 3 percent,'' he said.
In April 2008, Germany dispatched commodities to the value of EUR 58.0 billion
to the Member States of the European Union, while it received commodities to the
value of EUR 46.3 billion from those countries. Compared with April 2007,
dispatches to and arrivals from the EU countries increased by 11.6% and 11.4%,
respectively. Commodities to the value of EUR 38.5 billion (+10.8%) were
dispatched to the euro area countries in April 2008, while the value of
commodities received from those countries was EUR 32.0 billion (+10.0%).
Commodities to the value of EUR 19.5 billion (+13.2%) were dispatched to EU
countries not belonging to the euro area in April 2008, while the value of the
commodities which arrived from those countries was EUR 14.4 billion (+14.8%).
Germany exported commodities to the value of EUR 31.8 billion to and
imported commodities to the value of EUR 24.7 billion from countries outside the
European Union (third countries) in April 2008. Compared with April 2007,
exports to third countries were up by 18.4% and imports from those countries by