Berlin (dpa) – An economic slowdown put a dampener on German foreign trade last year, despite the value of goods exported in 2019 reaching a record high of 1,327.6 billion euros (1,456.1 billion dollars), according to government data released on Friday.
Exports grew by 0.8 per cent on the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported. By comparison, exports grew by 3 per cent in 2018 and 6.2 per cent in 2017.
Foreign trade ramped up at the end of 2019, with exports totalling 98 billion euros in December, up 2.3 per cent on the same month a year earlier.
Imports to Europe’s biggest economy increased in 2019 by 1.4 per cent to 1,104.1 billion euros.
A long-running trade war between the United States and China, which is only now being patched up between the two superpowers, was felt globally last year and particularly took its toll on the Chinese economy. This in turn impacted Germany’s export-focused economy.
The risk of an unregulated Brexit has also been set aside for now, although Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union is yet to be hammered out.
Meanwhile, a new economic risk has presented itself in the form of the coronavirus outbreak above all in China, which is an important trade partner for Germany.