German exports jumped 4.7 per cent in July as the Eurozone economy’s gradual recovery continued, but trade remained far below its pre-crisis level.
Imports grew by just 1.1 per cent, however, undershooting economists’ expectations of a rise of 3.3 per cent.
Compared with a year earlier the figures were stark. Exports were down 11 per cent on July 2019 and imports were 11.3 per cent lower.
Nonetheless, the rise in exports “suggested a moderation in recovery momentum at the start of the third quarter, and broadly in line with expectations,” said Chris Scicluna of Daiwa Capital Markets.
It comes as the Eurozone picks itself back up after a bruising few months of coronavirus lockdowns.
The European Union agreed a €750bn (£675bn) coronavirus recovery fund in July that boosted confidence. Analysts expect the Eurozone to post strong growth in the third quarter after a record 12.1 per cent fall in GDP in the second.
However, rising coronavirus cases in some parts of Europe such as Spain could derail the recovery.
For Germany, a more pressing worry is the health of its major trading partners. Today’s figures showed that exports to the US were down 17 per cent in July year on year.
Exports to China were just 0.1 per cent lower, however, reflecting its stronger economic recovery.