German exports rise in January on robust U.S. demand


By Maria Martinez

BERLIN (Reuters) -German exports rose more than expected in January, increasing 2.1% on the month to bounce back from the prior month’s slump thanks to strong demand from the United States and Britain, data showed on Friday.

A Reuters poll had predicted a month-on-month rise of 1.5%.

Despite the rebound, exports are still only back to the levels of April last year, ING’s global head of macro Carsten Brzeski noted.

“It looks as if trade is no longer the strong growth driver of the German economy it used to be,” Brzeski said. Supply chain frictions and a more fragmented global economy were continuing to undermine “Germany’s old success formula.”


Exports to the U.S. were up 3.1% on the month and exports to Britain rose 7.8%, the data showed.

“The fact that the U.S. economy is holding up is a source of confidence,” said Alexander Krueger, chief economist at Hauck Aufhaeuser Lampe Privatbank. Other positive signals were the easing of material bottlenecks and a rise in companies’ export expectations.

Exports to Russia increased a calendar and seasonally adjusted 12.3% in January compared with December, while imports from Russia fell 36.7% on the month.

Imports fell by 3.4% compared with December, the federal statistics office said, versus analysts’ expectations for a 2.0% rise.

Most imports to Germany came from China, at 12.7 billion euros.

The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 16.7 billion euros ($17.73 billion) in January, up from 10.0 billion euros in December, both in calendar and seasonal adjusted terms.

Supply chain problems, the energy crisis and geopolitical risks are expected to take their toll on exporting companies this year.

The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry DIHK forecasts real export growth of 2.5% in 2023, one point below the average growth of the previous decade.

($1 = 0.9418 euros)

(Reporting by Paul Carrel and Maria Martinez, Editing by Rachel More and John Stonestreet)