Germany’s economic lifeline shows signs of weakness

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germany exports May 2013

German exports fell more than analysts expected in May, down 2.4% in May from April and 3.2% from May of 2012. As the chart above shows, German export growth is on a downward trend following rapid growth in 2010.

That could prove problematic for the country, which has been relying on export strength—particularly from outside of Europe—in order to keep its economy growing even with a sovereign debt crisis raging to the south.

German exports to europe and non-european countries

The country’s trade surplus also declined, from a seasonally adjusted €17.71 billion ($22.75 billion) in April to €14.10 billion. Then again, its April trade surplus was near record highs. With low unemployment and a still-growing economy, Germany has over and over again defied euro zone ills and grown anyway.