German exports to UK may grow this year for first time since Brexit vote

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German exports to Britain this year could grow for the first time since 2015 if the upward trend seen from January to August continues through 2022, statistics office data showed.

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For the first eight months of the year, German companies sold goods worth 48 billion euros ($47.37 billion) to Britain, an increase of about 11.4 percent compared with the same period in 2021, showed data made available to Reuters.

If this trend continues, 2022 would mark the first increase, after six consecutive years of shrinking exports, since the British referendum on whether to leave the European Union.

However, the DIHK chambers of industry and commerce said the positive development was no reason to celebrate, as Brexit and turmoil in the British pound were making business difficult.

“This is anything but a turnaround in German-British trade for the better,” DIHK’s head of foreign trade, Volker Treier, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“On the contrary, Brexit continues to create planning and legal uncertainty for internationally active German companies.”

Added to that is the latest confusion in the capital markets and economy overall triggered by stimulus and tax packages that were announced and then partly withdrawn, said Treier.

In the ranking of Germany’s most important trading partners, the United Kingdom took 10th place last year. In 2016, it was the fifth-most important trading partner.

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