Growth worries

Export Boom Can't Last, Say Experts

Containers are flying out of Germany's ports.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany is one of the world’s top exporting countries and its economy is heavily reliant on foreign trade.

  • Facts


    • New government figures show Germany achieved a record foreign trade surplus in 2015.
    • Exports were up 6.4 percent on 2014.
    • The United States has overtaken France as Germany’s biggest customer.
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German companies have continued their series of export records in 2015. They delivered goods abroad to the value of €1.2 trillion ($1.35 trillion), 6.4 percent more than in 2014, the German Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday.

Despite the euro zone’s unresolved crisis, exports in the common currency area increased by 5.9 percent, which is even stronger than in non-European countries, where the figure was 5.6 percent. The greatest boost in demand came from E.U. countries, such as Great Britain, that don’t use the euro. Exports to these countries rose by 9 percent. The weak euro is likely to have played a part, as it made German goods cheaper in these places.

The export record is all the more notable given that China, Russia and Brazil, three very dynamic sales markets for Germany companies in the past, reduced their buying levels. In the case of Russia, which has been targeted with Western sanctions, the reduction was by a quarter.

For the first time since 1961, the United States replaced France as the most important buyer of German products. Based on the value added, meaning exports less foreign content, the United States has already been Germany’s most important customer for some time.

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