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Germany’s Trade Surplus Hits Six-month High in June

Germany’s trade surplus rose to €18.7 billion ($20.45 billion) in June 2023, the highest level since January 2023, as exports edged up and imports fell, according to data released by the German Federal Statistical Office on Thursday.

The trade surplus increased from €14.6 billion in May 2023 and €6.4 billion in June 2022, exceeding market expectations of €15 billion.

Exports of goods increased by 0.1% month-on-month to €131.3 billion in June 2023, while imports of goods decreased by 3.4% to €112.6 billion.

On a year-on-year basis, exports declined by 1.9% and imports dropped by 11.6%, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global trade.

The data showed that Germany’s trade with the European Union (EU) improved, while its trade with countries outside the EU weakened.

Exports to the EU rose by 1.3% month-on-month and imports from the EU fell by 3.1%. Exports to the euro area increased by 1.8% and imports from the euro area decreased by 4.1%. Exports to EU countries not belonging to the euro area were unchanged and imports from these countries declined by 1%.

Exports to third countries fell by 1.5% month-on-month and imports from third countries dropped by 3.8%. Exports to China increased by 1.6% and imports from China decreased by 2.7%. Exports to the US fell by 3.6% and imports from the US declined by 5.7%. Exports to the UK rose by 5.8% and imports from the UK surged by 15.3%.

The data also showed that Germany’s current account surplus widened to €22.4 billion in June 2023 from €8.9 billion in May 2023 and €16.5 billion in June 2022.

The current account surplus reflects Germany’s strong position in international trade and investment, as well as its competitiveness and productivity.

However, some economists and policymakers have criticized Germany for relying too much on exports and not enough on domestic demand, arguing that this creates imbalances in the global economy and hampers growth in other countries.

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