September 12, 2012
Export growth picked up somewhat again in June (+4.8% yoy, 3M mov. average) and July (+5.7%), after having slowed from 10.1% to as little as 3.9% between September 2011 and May 2012. However, there are pronounced regional differences in the dynamics of exports. Exports to EMU countries, for instance, have been on the decline since the beginning of 2011, and over the last three months German deliveries to these countries were even down from the pre-year period. Weaker demand from the euro area was more than offset, though, by stronger exports to countries outside the monetary union. Exports to the US, in particular, still registered high double-digit growth rates at the beginning of the year. Exports to Asia had stabilised at high single-digit growth rates and grew even faster in June.
However, the global PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) for instance points to slower global growth. We recently revised our growth forecasts for several major markets (such as China and Japan) slightly downward. In addition, demand from the EMU countries, Germany's most important market, looks set to have an adverse impact due to the recession and rebalancing. We therefore expect the German export sector to achieve little more than stagnation in H2 2012. At the same time, German imports will probably rise more strongly than exports thanks to moderately increasing consumption. Unlike in the last two years, when external trade made a positive contribution to GDP growth in the course of the global economic upswing (2010: +1.7 pp, 2011: +0.6 pp) its contribution could even be slightly negative in H2 2012. Thanks to the good results achieved in the first half of the year, however, we continue to forecast a positive contribution to growth from exports in the order of 0.7 pp for the full year.