Germany recently reported its exports and imports data for 2016 released by the government’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Thursday. The country has posted an increase to their exports in 2016 at 1.2% to a total value of €1,207.5 billion. Its import value was at a total of €949.2 billion, up by 0.6%.
With the exports exceeding the country’s imports, Germany’s trade surplus has reached a new record high in 2016, continuing with its 3rd consecutive year of posting record highs. The trade surplus was reported at €252.9 billion, exceeding 2015’s record high of €244.3 billion
Both the exports and imports data reported by the government have surpassed the past year’s record highs. Germany saw better exports in 2016 due to a stronger demand from other European Union countries.
Exports were up 2.2% to a value of €707.9 billion within the European Union members for 2016, while imports climbed 1.8% to €632.5 billion. In the Euro zone, exports grew 1.8% to €441.8 billion, while imports were 0.7% higher to €428.9 billion. Outside the Euro zone, exports were 2.8% higher to €266.1 billion and imports climbed 4.1% to €203.6 billion.
The calculations and provisional results were reported by the Deutsche Bundesbank. Germany relies greatly on its exports, with the country’s net trade accounted for 8.1% of Germany’s gross domestic product last year.
Last December, Germany’s exports were down 3.3% from the previous month, while imports remained unchanged. The country’s GDP growth for the whole of 2016 was up 1.9%, while the inflation rate increased 0.5%.
Germany and US Trade Relations
Germany’s exports and imports data were published days following the comments made from US President Donald Trump’s administration over the country’s powerful exports and probable influence over a weak European currency.
Recently, Trump’s head adviser of the National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, accused Germany of taking too much advantage over the weakened euro currency.
Trump previously said that Germany’s car brands are all over the US auto market, while US car makers were not given the same market size in Germany.
With Germany’s most recent record high trade surplus, new tension between the German nation and the US has surfaced as the Germany has one of the highest economies in the world, while Trump seeks to prioritize the United States for all the trade relations being made.
“The record surplus will continue to fuel the conflict with the USA and within the EU,” said Marcel Fratzscher, head of the DIW economic institute. “European neighbors would benefit from stronger investment in Germany. Germany, however, would profit first and foremost as the investment gap and the resulting excessive trade surpluses detrimental to the domestic economy.”
Following the US administration’s accusation over Germany’s currency manipulation, the German council was quick to respond regarding the issue. German Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately rejected the idea, stating that whatever the German government is doing is only to benefit the country’s future. Merkel said that Germany has always suggested to the European Central Bank to consider pursuing an independent monetary policy.
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