Strong exports push German trade surplus to record: official data
The outlook for the German economy, Europe's biggest, brightened on Monday when data showed the country's trade surplus hit a new record in July on the back of booming exports.
After allowance for seasonal blips, Germany exported goods worth a total of 98.2 billion euros ($127 billion) in July, 4.7 percent more than in June, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.
Imports, on the other hand, shrank by 1.8 percent to 76.1 billion euros.
That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus -- the balance between imports and exports -- increased to 22.2 billion euros in July from 16.4 billion euros in June.
In unadjusted terms, the trade surplus jumped to a record 23.4 billion euros in July, Destatis said.
A trade surplus is one of the factors of growth and wealth creation for an economy.
Exports to the European Union were up 9.6 percent and exports to the 18-member eurozone climbed by 6.2 percent, while exports to countries outside Europe soared by 15.9 percent, the data showed.
Following better-than-expected industrial output and orders data last week, analysts said the trade figures augured well for the German economy in the third quarter.
"All in all, data in July indicate that the German economy had a very positive start into the third quarter," said Natixis economist Johannes Gareis.
"Thus, although it is early days, the data suggest that Germany will refire its engine in the third quarter and avert a technical recession," he said.
In the second quarter, German gross domestic product (GDP) had contracted by 0.2 percent.
BayernLB economist Johannes Mayr said that any weakness in exports to Russia and Ukraine had been more than offset by exports to other countries.
"The pick-up in the US economy will have also played a role," Mayr said.
© 2014 AFP