German exports are slowing down in January at their fastest pace in seven months, according to the latest figures for Europeан largest economy. The country’s еxports shrank by 0.5% to 111 billion EUR in January a month earlier, according to seasonally adjusted data. The analysts’ forecast was a growth of 0.3%. The imports also fell by 0.5% month-on-month to 89.7 billion EUR against a 0.1% growth forecast.
The country’s trade surplus remains stable at 21.3 billion EUR, according to the data of the Federal Statistical Office. The data comes just a day after it became clear that Germany’s new industrial orders declined by 3.9% in January, well above expectations for a 1.6% drop.
German trade balance figures are becoming clear at a time when uncertainty about global protectionism intensifies after US President Donald Trump signed a decree on Thursday to impose customs duties of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum. The new measure, which will enter into force after 15 days, will not apply to Canada and Mexico.
In January, about 40% of the German exports were for countries outside the European Union.
The retail sales in Germany also posted a surprising decline in January. This is a sign that private consumption may remain weak at the beginning of 2018, when it was earlier revealed that it did not contribute to the growth of the country’s economy in Q4 2017.
The latest GfK study showed that the consumer climate in Germany has deteriorated slightly. This, in turn, is a sign that the political difficulties in the country over the last few months may have an impact on consumption-driven growth in the largest European economy.