Unexpected fall in imports results in cheap trade surplus win for Germany

Germany’s trade surplus came in at a better-than-expected €15.7bn in June following an unexpected fall in imports and weak export growth.

Analysts had expected to see a surplus of €14.9bn following the previous month’s surplus of €14.1bn.

Imports fell by 0.8 per cent month-on-month from a revised 1.4 per cent growth the month before. Analysts had expected 0.5 per cent growth.

And export growth was just 0.6 per cent – worse than the 1.0 per cent expected but better than the revised 2.0 per cent fall in May.

The fall in imports and weak export growth will be a disappointment to Germany, particularly after yesterday’s stellar industrial production figures clouded out some of the less encouraging figures like the 1.5 per cent fall in retail sales.

Nevertheless, it is unlikely to offset the affirmation of the country's "AAA" rating by Fitch last night after the country was seen to be ahead of target on many key fiscal reforms, echoing comments from the IMF (although perhaps with slightly different conclusions).