German exports surge despite supply bottlenecks

* Exports increase by 1.3% m / m in June

* Much stronger than expected by 0.4% (add data)

By Michael Nienaber

BERLIN, Aug. 9 (Reuters) – German exports rose more than expected in June despite persistent supply bottlenecks in the manufacturing sector, data showed Monday, suggesting a strong recovery in the larger economy from Europe.

The data, released by the Federal Statistical Office on Monday, provided some relief after manufacturing figures showed on Friday that industrial production fell unexpectedly in June due to bottlenecks in intermediate goods .

“Exports are now up for the 14th consecutive month. What a race! Bank vice president analyst Thomas Gitzel said.

Seasonally adjusted exports jumped 1.3% on the month in June after a slightly revised 0.4% increase in May. Imports rose 0.6% after rising 3.4% the previous month.

The sharp rise in exports widened the trade surplus to 13.6 billion euros from 12.8 billion euros revised in May.

A Reuters poll had indicated a 0.4% increase in exports, a 0.5% increase in imports and a trade balance of 13.4 billion euros.

Compared with February 2020, the month before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, seasonally adjusted exports rose 1.1% and imports jumped 10%, underlining strong domestic demand and massive government spending during the crisis.

Monthly trade data did not include a breakdown by country.

Over the year, exports jumped 23.6% and imports by 27%, mainly driven by business with the United States and China, the two main trading partners of Germany outside the single market of the European Union.

Exports of “Made in Germany” products to the United States increased by almost 40% over the year in June and exports to China increased by 16%. Exports to Britain grew 11% on the year while imports from the UK increased 11.5%.

VP Bank analyst Gitzel warned that there was a risk that bottlenecks in the supply of intermediate goods in the manufacturing sector would soon be more clearly reflected in the export figures.

“The problem of material shortages will eat away at all economic figures,” Gitzel added.

The central bank said last month that economic growth could accelerate further this summer if there were no “significant setbacks” in the fight against the pandemic and if supply bottlenecks ‘attenuate.

On this condition, the Bundesbank expects the economy to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the third quarter, growing 3.7% this year and 5.2% next year. . (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Caroline Copley and Nick Macfie)

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