German exports to the fast-paced economies of Central and Eastern Europe outpaced the nation's exports to other parts of the world during the three months of the year, data released Friday showed.
Germany's statistics office said exports from Europe's biggest economy to the European Union's new member states, which are largely in Central Europe, raced ahead by about 23% during the Q1 compared to the same period in 2006. At the same time, Q1 exports to Russia's booming economy soared by 32.5% to €6 billion ($8 billion). German exports to Central and Eastern Europe came in stronger than the nation's exports to the Asian powerhouse economies of India and China as well as to Germany's EU partners. While German exports to India rose by 18% to €1.7 billion ($2.3 billion), exports to China grew by 11.8% to €6.6 billion ($8.8 billion). German exports to its EU partners rose 12.8%. Overall German exports rose by 10.8% during the first three months of the year.
The jump in exports to Eastern Europe, is the latest sign of the often robust economic growth that has taken hold in the region, with the strong demand for German goods, from emerging economies helping to offset, the slowdown in the US economy, and the competitive pressures unleashed by an escalating euro during the first three months of the year. Moreover, Friday's data showed exports to the US falling about 5% during the first three months of the year. Exports to Japan sank 6.7% to €3.4 billion ($4.5 billion). The data on exports to the 12 new EU states include Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Romania and Bulgaria, both of which joined the Brussels-based bloc in January 2007.
Particularly strong were the German exports to neighboring Poland, which surged by 28.3% in the Q1. Growth in Poland, which is the biggest economy among the new EU states, zoomed ahead at its fastest pace in a decade with growing housing and consumer demand resulting in the nation's GDP expanding by an annual 7.4% in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, growth in Slovakia rocketed along by 9% during the Q1, underpinned by the nation's expansion as a new centre of the global car industry. A similar story has emerged in the EU's most recent members with Romania's GDP growing by 6% in the Q1 of 2007. (monstersandcritics.com)