Germany’s current account surplus falls to €245½ billion in 2019

Germany’s current account surplus dropped by €2 billion to €245½ billion in 2019. As a percentage of nominal gross domestic product (GDP), the balance sank to 7¼ percent. The ratio thus fell for the fourth consecutive year and is now well below its peak of 8½ percent of GDP in 2015.

As in the preceding years, the decline in 2019 was caused by a narrower surplus in the goods account. Owing to very weak global trade growth, amongst other factors, German exports were up only slightly, whilst imports of goods rose relatively sharply in spite of the downturn in Germany’s industrial sector. 

The current account is the element of the balance of payments that records all economic transactions between residents and non-residents in a given period (month, quarter, year). The current account is broken down into exports and imports of goods and services, primary income (such as compensation of employees and investment income), and secondary income. The latter comprises current transfers, such as remittances.