Make Kitco Your Homepage

Germany's foreign trade hit a fresh record in 2018

Kitco News

BERLIN (Reuters) - The volume of Germany’s foreign trade hit a record in 2018, the Federal Statistics Office said, underlining how exposed Europe’s largest economy is to a global trading system that is under threat from protectionism and the threat of a trade war.

The annual figures — showing that Germany had exported 1.3 trillion euros’ worth of goods and imported 1.1 trillion euros — exceeded the previous record set in 2017. The trade surplus for the year narrowed slightly.

Germany, the continent’s economic motor, has boomed for a decade thanks to its role as a supplier of equipment to the world’s industrial nations. That makes it vulnerable to a possible trade war between China and the United States, which has taken a more protectionist stance under President Donald Trump.

But the latest monthly figures, showing unexpected month-on-month growth in both exports and imports, appeared to snap a long run of gloomy economic indicators, possibly indicating that the economy’s long-expected slowdown may yet be postponed.

Seasonally adjusted exports rose 1.5 percent month-on-month - up from a 0.4 percent fall in the previous month, and confounding forecasts of 0.2 percent growth. Imports meanwhile rose 1.2 percent, compared to a 1.6 percent decline in the previous month.

That meant the trade surplus widened to 19.4 billion euros from 18.4 billion euros the month before.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Catherine Evans

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.