German exports struggle to recover amid global economic uncertainties
The data suggests that German industry, whose output rose less than expected in October due to stagnating factory output, will only witness a mild recovery in the last three months of this year.
Exports have almost stagnated over the last 12 months, growing on average by 0.1pc monthly from a historical average of 0.3pc
“Looking ahead, however, the latest weakness of the pound sterling and possible protectionist policies under the new president in the United States do not bode well for the outlook for German exports,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski.
Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.5pc on the month, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed, while imports increased by 1.3pc
The data reinforces a trend of weakening exports, which have been losing their traditional role as the main growth driver in Germany.
Hours after the data was published, the BGA trade association said it would lower its 2016 growth forecast for exports to a “mini plus” from a previously projected 2pc. “The forecast of 2pc growth is no longer valid,” a spokesman for the BGA told Reuters. “We will now go for a mini-plus for this year.” The spokesman did not give more details.
A Reuters poll had pointed to exports rising by 1pc and imports posting a 0.9pc increase.
The jump in imports narrowed the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €20.5bn from €21.1bn in September. The October reading was below the Reuters consensus forecast of €21.5bn.
Exports for September were revised down for a fall of 1pc from a previously reported drop of 0.7pc.
Private consumption and increased state spending have been fuelling German growth.
But the positive effects of private consumption are likely to wane next year, as rising consumer prices and weaker wage increases are expected to discourage Germans from spending.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will run for a fourth term in office next year. Earlier this week she called for a ban on full-face Muslim veils “wherever legally possible”.
Her party toughened its tone on integrating migrants on Wednesday, passing a resolution on tackling forced marriage and honour killings, and cracking down on dual citizenship.