German Exports Rebound In April

Germany’s exports rebounded at a stronger than expected pace in April despite sanctions imposed on Russia dampening trade in Europe.

Exports advanced 4.4 percent on a monthly basis, in contrast to the 3.0 percent decline posted in March, data from Destatis showed on Friday. Shipments were expected to grow only 1.5 percent.

At the same time, imports moved up 3.1 percent on month. Although growth was slightly slower than March’s 3.2 percent increase, the rate far exceeded economists’ forecast of 0.2 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus rose to a seasonally adjusted EUR 3.5 billion from EUR 1.9 billion a month ago. The expected level was EUR 1.6 billion.

Year-on-year, exports growth improved to 9.2 percent from 8.5 percent. Likewise, growth in imports climbed to 25.2 percent from 22.6 percent in the prior month.

The unadjusted foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 1.3 billion in April compared to a EUR 15.3 billion surplus in the same period last year.

Exports to the Russia decreased 10.0 percent to EUR 0.8 billion in April, because of the sanctions imposed against Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine, further measures to restrict exports, and unsanctioned behaviour of market participants. Imports from Russia were down 16.4 percent to EUR 3.7 billion in April.

Meanwhile, shipments to EU member countries grew 4.2 percent and imports from those countries gained 2.4 percent annually.

A surprise surge in April exports softens fears of a contraction of the entire German economy in the second quarter, Carsten Brzeski, an ING economist, said. However, exports are still facing several headwinds.

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