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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Apr 26, 2013 - 2:25 PM


German trade surplus in 2012 second-highest since 1950; French deficit fell
By Finfacts Team
Feb 8, 2013 - 7:55 AM

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Germany exported commodities to the value of €1.1tn in 2012 and imported goods worth €909.2bn in 2012. Destatis, the German federal statistics office, said today that exports increased by 3.4% and imports by 0.7% in 2012 on the record year of 2011. The foreign merchandise trade balance showed a surplus of €188.1bn in 2012, which is the second largest surplus since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950. In 2011, the surplus of the foreign trade balance had been €158.7bn. The largest surplus to date of €195.3bn was recorded in 2007. However, the German Eurozone merchandise trade surplus was only €7bn. On Thursday, France reported a trade deficit of €67bn down from €74bn in 2011.

According to provisional data from the Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank, the current account of the balance of payments showed a surplus of €166.9bn in 2012, which included the balance of services (–€6.7bn), factor income net (+€51.8bn), current transfers (–37.1bn), and supplementary trade items (–€29.2bn). In 2011, the German current account showed a surplus of €147.2bn. 

In 2012, Germany dispatched commodities to the value of €625.7bn to the member states of the European Union (EU), while it received commodities to the value of €577.1bn from those countries. Compared with 2011, dispatches to the EU countries fell by 0.3%, while arrivals from those countries increased by 0.9%. Commodities to the value of €411.9bn (–2.1%) were dispatched to the Eurozone countries in 2012, while the value of the goods received from those countries was €404.2bn (+0.7%). In 2012, commodities to the value of 213.8bn (+3.3%) were dispatched to EU countries not belonging to the Euro area, while the value of the commodities which arrived from those countries was 172.9bn (+1.4%). 

Exports of commodities to countries outside the European Union (third countries) amounted to €471.7bn in 2012, while imports from those countries totalled €332.1bn. Compared with 2011, exports to third countries increased by 8.8% and imports from those countries by 0.4%. 

In December 2012, Germany exported commodities to the value of €79.0bn (–6.9% on December 2011) and imported commodities to the value of €67.0bn (–7.3%).

Exports and imports showed diverging trends on a calendar and seasonally adjusted basis: while exports rose by 0.3% on November 2012, imports went down by a calendar and seasonally adjusted 1.3%. The foreign trade balance recorded a surplus of €16.8bn in December 2012 in calendar and seasonally adjusted terms.

France

Excluding trade in energy, the French deficit fell to €15bn from €29bn in 2011.

French exports rose by 3.2% in 2012 to €441.7bn while imports grew 1.3% to €508.8bn.

Exports to Europe fell to 59% of France's total exports, from 61% in 2011, the trade ministry said.

For the third straight year, exports Asia had the biggest growth, rising 13%.

The aeronautical industry (e.g. Airbus) had the biggest trade surplus of €20bn, followed by food and agricultural products at €11.5bn led by good wine and spirits sales.

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