Germany's exports take plunge as China slows down
German exports plunged in August by their largest amount since the height of the global financial crisis and leading institutes cut 2015 growth forecasts in the latest sign that an emerging market slowdown is hurting Europe's largest economy.
The institutes stuck to their forecast for 1.8pc growth next year, however, saying private consumption, boosted by low unemployment, strong wage gains and a positive impact from refugees, would offset the weaker export momentum.
A stream of negative headlines, from weak industrial orders and output data to Volkswagen's emissions scandal and Deutsche Bank warning of a €6bn pre-tax loss in the third quarter have raised the risks of disappointing Q3 growth.
"Given the recent spate of poor August data, the latest trade numbers are not such a big surprise and remain consistent with our view that Germany is facing significant headwinds from weakening global demand," said Philippe Gudin of Barclays.
"Risks are clearly tilted to the downside."
Seasonally-adjusted exports dived 5.2pc to €97.7bn month-to-month, the steepest drop since January 2009, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed.
Imports tumbled by 3.1pc to €78.2bn, the biggest one-month decline since November 2012. Germany's trade surplus narrowed to €19.6bn.
Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting much smaller declines in exports and imports of 1.2pc apiece and a trade surplus of €22.5bn.
Although the weak trade numbers were partly due to an unusually large number of holidays falling in August, waning demand from abroad, particularly China and other emerging markets, is beginning to leave its mark. (Reuters)