For the first time in three months, German exports rose in August. According to the Federal Statistics Office, shipments grew 3.5% over the month.
Performance that is stronger than economic forecasts is heartening news to any country in these troubled financial times, but is especially welcome news for the eurozone’s biggest economy.
The rise in August was more than three times the figure that experts predicted, marking an important move for confidence in the German industrial sector.
Though the eurozone crisis understandably hurt faith in German businesses, experts say that Germany exports most of its goods outside the euro bloc. This has helped the country immensely by limiting the impact on its economy.
The figures for July’s shipments were also revised to find a better outcome than expected. July’s shipments fell by 1.2% month on month, rather than the previously reported 1.8% decline.
“Today’s numbers prove yet again that Germany is faring better than the rest of the eurozone thanks to its high competitiveness,” said Ulrike Rondorf of Commerzbank.
“However, Germany will not be able to decouple from a sluggish global economy on a permanent basis,” continued Rondorf.
He emphasized that the eurozone situation must be taken care of before any countries in the single currency bloc have the breathing room for growth celebration.
It is certainly true that the economy is still proving to be “sluggish” despite unpredicted growth. For example, despite the fact that 90.5 billion euros (£78.5 billion) were exported out of Germany, imports remained unchanged (at 76.7 billion euros).
Also, data from industrial ordering that was released earlier this month shows that some manufacturers are still struggling. Factories reported a 1.4% drop in orders in August, which was a larger drop than expected.
Germany’s economic ministry blamed this on a fall in domestic demand, which would not have been reported on the latest trade data.