In the fourth quarter 2008 German exports shrank by 6.0 % as compared to the respective quarter in 2007. The combined values of all exported goods amounted to 233.8 billion Euros. After adjustment for prices the drop in exports even amounted to 7.8 %. For the entire year 2008 exports increased by 3.1 % (after adjustments for prices: by +1.9 %) and reached an overall value of 994.9 billion Euros. Imports increased by 6.3% (+2.5% in real terms) in 2008 as compared to 2007 totalling 818.6 billion Euros.
Taking a separate look at the fourth quarter 2008, imports grew by 0.2% (nominally) and fell by 2.1% (really) as compared to the respective quarter in 2007. The value of imported goods amounted to 200.5 billion Euros.
Exports to countries within the EU dropped by 9.1% to 145.3 billion Euros in the fourth quarter 2008 as compared to the fourth quarter in 2007. Exports to countries outside the EU fell by 0.6% to 88.5 billion Euros.
Most important German trade partners within the EU last year were France, the Netherlands and Italy. German exports to each of these three countries fell in 4/2008 as compared to the respective quarter in 2007. Exported goods to France amounted to 23.4 billion Euros (-1.3 %), those to the Netherlands to 15.6 billion Euros (-5.3 %) and to 14.9 billion Euros (-8.3 %) with regard to Italy.
Germany’s most important trade partner outside the EU were the United States of America. In the fourth quarter last year exports to the USA fell by 8.5 % to 17.0 billion Euros. At the same time exports to almost all BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) increased with the only exception of India. Thus, exports to China increased by 8.7% to 8.7 billion Euros, to Brazil by 13.2% to 2.1 billion Euros and to Russia by 0.7% to 7.9 billion Euros in the fourth quarter last year as compared to the fourth quarter in 2007. Exports to India fell by 9.4% to 2.0 billion Euros.
While imports from the EU fell by 2.2% to 113.9 billion Euros in the fourth quarter last year, imports from countries outside the EU increased by 3.5% to 86.5 billion Euros. Thus, imports from China grew by 8.2% to 16.9 billion Euros, imports from Russia by 0.5% to 8.5 billion Euros and those from Brazil and India by 8.8% to 2.4 billion Euros and by 12.4% to 1.3 billion Euros respectively.