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Dow Jones Newswires: Germany’s trade balance falls slightly December as exports decline sharply

By Xavier Fontdegloria

Germany’s trade surplus fell in December compared with the previous month as both exports and imports declined sharply, reflecting continued weakness in global demand and lower energy prices.

The country’s adjusted trade surplus–the balance of exports and imports of goods–fell to 10.0 billion euros ($10.99 billion) in December from EUR10.9 billion in November, data from the country’s statistics office Destatis showed Wednesday.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected a trade surplus of EUR7.80 billion.

In December, exports fell 6.3% on month to EUR127.4 billion, in a further sign of lower global demand for German manufacturing goods. Economists expected exports to decline by 3.5%.

Imports decreased 6.1% on month, to EUR117.4 billion, as falling energy prices have pushed down the cost of energy imports.

Germany’s trade surplus shrunk markedly in 2022 as a sharp rise in energy prices increased the overall imports bill. In 2022 as a whole, trade surplus stood at EUR76.0 billion, its fifth consecutive yearly decline. Exports were up by 14.3% from the previous year, while imports rose by 24.3%.

The trade surplus recovered somewhat at the end of the year amid lower energy prices, but trade still faces headwinds ahead as the global economy cools.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at

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