German exports rebound in August after Brexit vote bump

Helen Cahill
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled she will be a tough negotiator in upcoming talks over Brexit (Source: Getty)

German exports returned to health in August after dropping in the month following the Brexit vote.

Seasonally-adjusted exports from the country rose 5.4 per cent month-on-month in August, increasing from €97.1bn (£87.2bn) in July to €102.3bn last month.

Read more: Merkel hits back at May with tough Brexit stance

The rise comes after German exports suffered following the Brexit vote, falling by 2.6 per cent in July, according to figures on Destatis, Germany's federal statistical office.

With exports back on track, Germany's trade surplus increased to €20bn at the end of August, up from €19.5 in July.

In August last year, Germany's trade surplus was €15.2bn, a year-on-year increase of 32 per cent.

Imports were also up, increasing by three per cent month-on-month.

Read more: UK investment industry bigger than France, Germany and Italy combined

With €54.3bn worth of exports going to the European Union, it is unsurprising that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled she will be a tough negotiator in the upcoming Brexit talks.

In particular, she is keen to protect the EU's "four freedoms", one of which is freedom of movement. She has said it will not be possible for the UK to gain access to the single market and reject freedom of movement for EU citizens.

She told a business audience in Berlin last week:

If we don't say that full access to the internal market is linked to full acceptance of the four fundamental freedoms, a process will spread in Europe in which everyone does what they want.

Merkel's comments followed Prime Minister Theresa May's speech at Conservative party conference, in which she suggested there was a false dichotomy being drawn between freedom of movement and single market access.

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