Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Germany Was Top Global Exporter in 2007: Official Figures

Germany Was Top Global Exporter in 2007: Official Figures

Germany defended its rank as top global exporter last year, beating a fast growing China for possibly the last time as it posted a sharp increase in its trade surplus on Friday. Exports by the biggest European economy came to 969 billion euros (1.4 trillion dollars) last year, an increase of 8.5 percent from 2006, official figures showed.

China sold 1.22 trillion dollars worth of goods abroad, according to the Chinese trade ministry's Internet site. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) had said last year that China would surpass Germany in 2009.

For 2007, Germany posted a trade surplus of 199 billion euros, up 40 billion euros, the figures showed.

European Union members remained Germany's main trade partners, helping offset in part the impact from the rise of the euro against other major currencies. Exports to EU members increased 11.1 percent to 627.6 billion euros, while imports grew 8.4 percent to 502.6 billion, the Destatis statistics service said. Other exports rose by 12.9 percent despite the stronger euro, while imports gained 10.1 percent, the data showed.

"This rounds off another successful year for the German export sector," said UniCredit economist Alexander Koch.

"Germany defended its title as world champion in merchandise exports for the fifth year in a row, after overtaking the US in 2003." Koch forecast continued strong German exports this year, adding "it will be a tough competition between Germany and China.

"In the long term, however, more than 1.3 billion Chinese will outperform 82 million Germans in terms of exports," Koch said.

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