German exports plummeted by 5.2 per cent in August compared with July, the sharpest monthly decline since January 2009, data released this morning reveals.
While no country breakdown is given, economists say the weakness is likely due to a slowdown in emerging markets, after factory orders published yesterday showed a contraction in non-Eurozone foreign orders.
“The strong suspicion has to be that this reflects developments in emerging markets, given Germany’s two main developed market trade partners, the US and the UK, are growing at a solid pace,” said economist Dominic Bryant from investment bank BNP Paribas.
The Chinese economy, which has slowed this year, was Germany’s fourth biggest export market in 2014.
However, Bryant also pointed out that German exports had increased at a robust pace in recent months.
“Some of this decline may, therefore, be a correction to previously strong performance. Nonetheless, it still indicates that weak conditions in emerging markets are an increasing headwind for the export-orientated German economy.”
Imports dipped by 3.2 per cent, according to the figures from German statistical office Destatis, which will soften the impact of net trade on Germany’s growth.