8 German external sector

German external sector
The external trade statistics record Germany's cross-border trade in goods with foreign countries. They capture and present all goods physically entering and exiting the country as well as electricity. This also covers imports and exports of goods that are brought into or taken out of the country free of charge or at another country's expense. All forms of services are generally not included in the external trade statistics. The difference between exports and imports is the external balance.

The current account is a component of the balance of payments. It consists of trade in goods (1), trade in services (2), primary income (3) and secondary income (4). A current account surplus means that the relevant economy is producing more than its consumption of domestic and foreign goods. The economy thus accumulates external assets on balance. In the case of a current account deficit, the situation is reversed.