The traditionally high surplus in the German trade in goods turned out to be 34 billion dollars less than in 2019,” said study author Christian Grimme to Reuters. China, on the other hand, was able to increase its exports last year despite the global corona recession.
The export world champion produces goods that are particularly in demand during the pandemic. “On the one hand, more electronic equipment such as data processing equipment was purchased from China,” said Grimme. This is probably a consequence of the increased work from home, which necessitates additional investments in IT products such as laptops and monitors. “On the other hand, the global demand for medical protective equipment increased considerably,” said Grimme. So the Chinese export of mouth and nose masks was increased.
The global criticism of Germany – despite the decline – still very high surplus in the current account is unlikely to end. In terms of economic output, it fell to 6.9 percent in 2020 from 7.1 percent in 2019 and thus for the fifth time in a row since its peak of 8.6 percent in 2015. “That is still a very, very high figure – especially in comparison with other large export nations,” emphasized Grimme. “However, the European Union considers a maximum of six percent to be sustainable in the long term.” A value that has been consistently exceeded since 2011.
The EU Commission, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), refers to the deficits that are faced by such large surpluses and warns of the high debts of the countries concerned. In China the surplus only accounts for 2.1 percent of economic output, in Japan 3.2 percent.
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Corona recession Ifo China overtakes Germany worlds largest current account surplus message