Germany exported 9.3 percent less last year than in 2019. Especially in the spring, the exports of the largest economy in Europe were hit hard by lockdown measures to prevent the coronavirus spread.
Germany exported just under 1205 billion euros worth of goods and services in 2020, the German Federal Statistics Office reports. The sharpest fall in exports was in April, the first full month in which many countries introduced restrictions. This resulted in, among other things, the closure of car factories of major German brands.
In the months that followed, exports gradually increased again. Even with the announcement of new heavy lockdowns in many countries, German exports still increased.
In December, for example, when the lung virus quickly spread again, it rose by 0.1 compared to November, against expectations. The substantial increase in exports to China in particular helped. In addition, Germany sold more to the United States in December for the first time since the start of the pandemic than a year earlier.
Yet the German economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign trade, has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic’s effects. Compared to February 2020, the last month before the large-scale lockdowns, Germany still exported 4.6 percent less in December.
German imports fell slightly in December compared to the previous month. In 2020 as a whole, imports fell by 7.1 percent to EUR 1,025 billion.