German economy upbeat as exports and production grow in March
Brussels (Brussels Morning) Germany’s federal statistics office DeStatis reported today that the country’s production and exports increased in March, compared to both February and to March a year ago, a good news boost to prospects for the recovery of the German economy.
When accounting for seasonal and calendar factors, German production grew 2.5% in March over February, after two consecutive months of drops in production. The same figure was down 2.2% in January and 1.9% in February. A year-on-year comparison shows that production has grown as much as 5.1%.
This was primarily fueled by the boom in production of consumer goods (+2.9%) and energy production (+2,4%), while industrial production — which does not include energy or civil engineering — grew 0.7%. Civil engineering production grew as much as 10.8% in March.
German exports were also reported higher in March, up 1.2% over February, and 16.1% more compared to March 2020. Germany exported a total of 126.5 billion euro worth of goods in March, while importing 105.9 billion euro worth of goods in the same period.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski told AP that German industry had finally gained momentum, after weaker industrial data in the first months of the year, the aftermath of a long Christmas break and harsh winter weather.
UK falls back
“Looking ahead, filled order books and low inventories bode well for industrial activity”, Brzeski observed. “Fiscal stimulus and investment initiatives around the globe should also benefit German industry”.
In the first quarter report, exports grew 2.4% compared to Q1 2020, despite a significant drop in trade with the UK, post-Brexit. Exports to other EU countries grew by as much as 4.8%, while exports to non-EU countries dropped 0.3%.During the first three months of 2021, the United Kingdom dropped off the list of Germany’s top five export destinations. German exports to the UK dropped 17.6% during the period, while imports from the UK dropped 27.7% compared to the first quarter of 2020.