Something doesn’t add up.
By Wolf Richter of WOLF STREET
Germany’s export-focused economy has been showing some signs of weakness, but no signs of an outright Financial-Crisis type collapse. So this data set released today by the German Statistical Agency doesn’t match those trends, and it doesn’t fit into the scenery. It could be an outlier, a statistical quirk, something that will be adjusted out of the way later. Or it could be a very unpleasant warning sign.
The German Statistical Agency today reported that, based on preliminary data, exports in July plunged 10% compared to July last year (not seasonally adjusted), to €96.4 billion.
And imports dropped 6.5% (not seasonally adjusted) year over year, to €76.9 billion. This slashed Germany’s trade surplus for July by 21% to €19.5 billion.
Exports to the 28-member European Union plunged 7.0% to €56.3 billion, while imports from EU countries dropped 4.5% to €51.3 billion.
And now it gets interesting, in the worst possible way. Year-over-year exports to “third countries” – countries outside the EU, particularly the US, which has become Germany’s largest trading partner in 2015, replacing France in that position – plummeted 13.8% to €40.1 billion…
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