German exports plummeted by a record 24 percent during April in a sign of the depth of the coronavirus economic slump.
The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that foreign sales of goods and services totaled €75.7 billion in April, down by almost a quarter from March and the worst monthly drop since Germany began tracking trade statistics in 1950.
ING analysts wrote, “The only upside from this morning’s trade numbers is that in terms of monthly economic data, the worst should now be behind us.”
The eurozone economy shrank by 3.6 percent in the first three months of the year, and the full EU’s by 3.2 percent, compared with the previous quarter, the bloc’s statistics office said in a separate release Tuesday. Those figures for gross domestic product were slight improvements over initial estimates but still represent “the sharpest declines observed since time series started in 1995,” Eurostat said.
Germany’s trade surplus fell to the lowest in almost 20 years, since December 2000, at €3.5 billion. The trade balance stayed in positive territory after imports also fell, by the most since July 2009.
April’s result came on top of a 11.7 percent dive in exports during March. Compared to April 2019, exports were down 31 percent.
Exports to France plunged by more than 48 percent compared to a year ago, while sales to Italy fell more than 40 and to the U.S. by almost 36 percent.
Bjarke Smith-Meyer contributed reporting.