Germany’s export numbers disappoint amid mounting trade fears

Europe’s largest economy released its trade figures Monday, reporting its weakest start to a completely new year since 2009.

The numbers, which analysts are calling disappointingly low, may be a signal of which Germany’s economy has peaked as sentiment indicators weaken, although by record highs. along with they come amid an escalating tit-for-tat tariff battle between the U.S. along with China, of whom Germany is usually likely to be a major casualty. China has announced tariffs of 25 percent on U.S. car exports — along with some of the largest auto manufacturing plants along with exporters inside States are German.

The completely new data Monday showed Germany raked in 104.7 billion euros ($128.6 billion) in exports for February, a fall of 3.2 percent on January, although up 2.4 percent on the same month in 2017. Imports slipped by 1.3 percent on the previous month, nevertheless increased 4.7 percent year-on-year. Overall, the country’s trade surplus widened slightly by 17.3 billion euros in January to 18.4 billion euros in February.

“The entire start to the year 2018 has been a disappointment,” Carsten Brzeski, chief economist for Germany along with Austria at ING, said in a research note. He attributed some This kind of disappointment to seasonal effects, winter weather along having a flu epidemic, nevertheless also noted “sound fundamentals” like record high employment, low interest rates, along with filled order books as an indicator of positive economic prospects, at least inside short-term.

However, Brzeski added, “If anything, downside risks for the economy have clearly increased in recent weeks.”

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