World Economy

US Is Germany’s Top Trading Partner

US Is Germany’s Top Trading PartnerUS Is Germany’s Top Trading Partner

The United States became the top destination for German exports last year, overtaking France for the first time since 1961 thanks to an upturn in the US economy and a weaker euro, data from Germany’s Statistics Office showed on Saturday.

Exports to the US rose by 19% to €114 billion ($127 billion) in 2015, compared with an increase in French purchases of 2.5% to €103 billion, Reuters reported.

It was the first time in more than half a century that France was not Germany’s biggest trading partner and economists said the picture was unlikely to change any time soon.

“This is more of a long-term trend,” said Simon Juncker, an expert at Germany’s DIW economic institute.

He said solid US growth rates were partly responsible for the rising demand for German goods.

The world’s biggest economy grew by 2.4% last year and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expects US gross domestic product to increase by 2% this year.

France’s GDP, on the other hand, rose 1.1% in 2015 and the OECD is forecasting growth of 1.2% this year.

“The American economy is currently experiencing a stable upturn, which benefits German companies,” said Bernhard Mattes, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany.

“This also includes low energy prices, a comparatively low US wage level and the weak external value of the euro.”

Since mid-2014, the euro has depreciated by nearly a fifth against the dollar, following expansionary monetary policies by the European Central Bank.

“This exchange rate effect has boosted foreign demand quite markedly,” said DIW’s Juncker.

As a member of the euro itself, France wasn’t able to benefit from that depreciation in its trade with Germany.