Germany’s huge trade surplus narrowed in May, but not by an amount likely to mollify critics in the US and elsewhere.
The balance of trade in goods showed a surplus of €19.7 billion, down from the €21.8 billion surplus seen in May 2017, according to the statistics office Destatis.
German exports declined by 1.3% compared with results seen in May 2017, while imports increased by 0.8%.
Deficits on services and investment income
The balance of trade Germany ran with other member-states of the European Union was still strongly in surplus, with exports of €65.7 billion and imports of $51.8 billion. Compared with May 2017, exports were 2.4% higher and imports were up 2.9%.
Within that figure, exports to other euro area countries were up 0.1% at €40.8 billion while imports were 0.6% higher at €32.9 billion. Exports to EU members not in the single currency zone rose by 6.5% to €24.9 billion while imports rose by 7% to €16.9 billion.
Within that figure, there was a deficit of €1.6 billion in services and of €7.4 billion in investment income, meaning Germany paid out more to foreign investors than it earned on its foreign investments.
There was a surplus of €0.1 billion on financial transfers, which includes payments to and from international organisations and remittances of expatriate workers to their families.