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  • Top o’ the world, Ma!

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on October 14th, 2003 (All posts by )

    In August Germany was the world’s biggest exporter, with an export volume of 62 billion Dollars. The United States had the second biggest export volume and Japan the third biggest.

    (Sniff!) I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those American consumers who helped to make this possible.

    Germany had been the world’s biggest exporter for several years in the 80’s but lost this status after reunification. According to Der Spiegel first signs for a return to the top already showed up in the statistics early this year.

     

    7 Responses to “Top o’ the world, Ma!”

    1. Jonathan Says:

      Maybe you should thank Sylvain for buying that fancy German car.

      But seriously, to what extent is Germany’s apparently large dollar volume of exports a function of dollar devaluation vs. the Euro?

    2. Steve Says:

      Question: from a power sense, why is it better to have more exports than imports? Here’s my thinking… If you are buying more than you are selling (like the US right now), doesn’t that mean the rest of the world is more dependent on you than you are dependent on the rest of the world? Let’s say we put an embargo on Europe, who would suffer more? Wouldn’t the Europeans? Isn’t it good that we have a trade deficit with China because that means they need us more than we need them, ergo that gives us huge leverage over them? Yes, I know it would be good for our economy if we could sell more than we buy I guess, but I’m thinking more on pure power politics. Also, for many countries, one issue could be that they are importing things they can not make themselves, but I don’t think that applies for us; except with one exception, oil.

      I’d like to hear peoples’ thoughts on this.

    3. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      :)

      That Beck’s commercial said Germans don’t do romance. They sure do cars, though.

      Good point about the exchange rate but…to the extent the euro is going up, German exports should slow down and compensate for at least some of the appreciation in dollar amounts, shouldn’t it ?

    4. Ralf Goergens Says:

      The appreciated Euro has helped to increase the value measured in Dollars, but the volume of goods also has increased overall. Those 62 billion are the whole German exports by the way. I only mentioned US consumers because of the earlier talk of boycotts. ;)

      Most exports go to other European countries where the price of German goods stays the same, no matter how much the Euro appreciates. Exports to countries outside Europe are less than they otherwise would have been because German goods are more expensive there now, but they still increased in volume as well as in Dollar value.

    5. Patrick Says:

      It makes me wonder.. how would a large state like Texas rank if you included all “exports” to other states?

    6. Alexander Crawford Says:

      Good news for the German economy.

      A word of caution or two….

      The link is to a German language source that has itself pulled the story from an FT affiliate (FT-D). Neither FT UK nor FT Europe seems to have picked that story up… why?

      I’d suggest that at a time when Berlin is pushing through economic reforms it’s wise to look closely at sources for statistical claims and most importantly, to be very very clear regarding the definition of terms whenever those terms are used to draw economic conclusions on a macro scale. For example, the oft used “balance of payments crisis” doesn’t seem to have a definition that accounts for certain tax loopholes very large US corporations use to avoid calling profits profit (the IRS HATES Deleware). There’s a financial difference of no small degree between declaring a tax-event as revenue versus delaring the same event as investment of new principal….

      This isn’t to argue that there’s any obvious reason to be skeptical… nope. None at all.

    7. Ralf Goergens Says:

      Point taken, Alexander. I also got it from here, not just the Spiegel, though.

      http://de.biz.yahoo.com/031014/85/3oyj1.html