Strong German trade surplus suggests roaring second quarter

9th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany reported on Monday another strong trade surplus, suggesting that second-quarter growth could be the strongest since reunification 20 years ago, an analyst said.

The world's second-biggest exporter after China said that provisional figures showed exports climbed to 86.5 billion euros (115 billion dollars) in June, their highest level since October 2008.

Imports hit a new record of 72.4 billion euros meanwhile, an all-time peak since statistics were first compiled in 1950, the Destatis statistics office added.

That meant the overall German trade surplus surged by 44 percent from May to 14.1 billion euros, in line with an average analyst forecast compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

For the first half of 2010, the trade surplus recorded by Europe's biggest economy gained 26 percent from the same period a year earlier to 74.6 billion euros.

The first six months of 2009 were marked by the country's worst post-war recession, however.

Since then, the value of goods sold has picked up markedly, in particular to Asia which has ordered impressive amounts of German machine tools, automobiles and chemicals.

Germany's current account of the balance of payments, a broader measure of all current payments into and out of the country, surged in June to 12.9 billion euros, from 1.8 billion the previous month, provisional figures released by the central bank showed.

"The current export dynamics are not a new status quo," ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski noted. "They will eventually slow down."

But German manufacturers nonetheless still have some well-padded order books and the industrial sector's contribution to second-quarter growth should be substantial.

"This week's release of second-quarter growth should be a cracker," Brzeski said.

"The German economy is bound to see its strongest quarterly growth rate since reunification" in October 1990.

© 2010 AFP

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