World Economy

German Exports, Production Fall

German Exports, Production FallGerman Exports, Production Fall

German exports and production fell in November compared with the previous month.

Exports fell 2.1% compared with October, German’s Federal Statistical Office reported, while imports rose 1.5%, BBC reported.

Meanwhile, factory production fell by 0.1% from October as energy production fell and construction activity decreased.

The latest news follows weak industrial order figures this week. “Things are certainly not rosy,” said Bankhaus Lampe economist Alexander Krueger. “The geopolitical situation, especially the Russia conflict and the related economic uncertainty, is limiting growth.”

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the country’s trade surplus shrank to €17.7b ($12.98b) in November.

Germany exported goods worth around €95.8b and imported goods valued at €78.0b in the month.

In December, Germany’s economic affairs ministry said the country’s recovery was “progressing at a slow pace.”

This is a disappointing batch of German data. It pours cold water on hopes that the Eurozone’s traditional economic powerhouse will drag its neighbors out of the gloom in the near future. The figures don’t necessarily point to a renewed contraction in the German economy. But they are consistent with no significant acceleration from the feeble 0.1% growth that Germany recorded in the third quarter of last year, following a contraction of the same magnitude in the previous three months.

There were also declines in French and Spanish industrial production, adding another layer of gloom to the picture.

These figures provide a little extra support to the view that the European Central Bank will embark soon on a major program of quantitative easing – buying financial assets notably government debt with newly created money.

  Must Invest More

Germany has an “urgent responsibility” to invest more in the eurozone, France’s economy minister has said.

Emmanuel Macron told the Les Echos newspaper that Europe’s largest economy needed to take a “proactive” role in reviving growth in the area, by doing more to boost consumer demand.

He added that both countries “must go further together” to ensure a recovery. Macron’s comments come days before a scheduled meeting between the two nations’ leaders. President Francois Hollande will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Strasbourg on Sunday.

Europe’s economy has been floundering in recent months, with persistently low rates of inflation leading consumers and business to hold off making purchases or making investments, in the expectation that prices will continue to fall.

A survey published on Tuesday indicated the eurozone economy saw anemic growth in December and suffered its worst quarter for more than a year.