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US Buyers Help Keep Europe Afloat


Germany is relying more and more on the US as a principal export market, reports the WSJ:

Exports to the U.S.—Germany’s second-largest overseas market after France—grew 3.5% in the first four months of 2013 compared with the same period last year, according to UniCredit. They fell 1.2% to France and 2% to China, Germany’s fifth-biggest market, raising concerns that they may post their first full-year drop to China since the Asian financial crisis in 1997.…

Jens Nagel, an expert at the Berlin-based BGA, which represents around 60,000 German companies active in trade, said he expects exports to the U.S. to swell 15% this year to nearly €100 billion ($130 billion), putting the U.S. near France as the top export destination for German products.

As Germany makes for about one-third of euro zone GDP, America’s ability to help keep German growth steady is a boon to the whole 17-country bloc.

From this report, the influence of the US economy abroad is clear: During the first third of 2013, the euro zone as a whole increased exports to the US by 2 percent while its exports to China fell by 3 percent. That China can’t do for Europe at 7.5 percent growth what the US can at 2 percent tells you something about the relative efficacy of the world’s two biggest economies.

The more you pay attention to reports like this, the more talk of inevitable American decline and inexorable Chinese ascendancy seem dubious at best.

[Image of Euro and Dollar boats courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • LivingRock

    Maybe some can shed some light on the subject for me. But why, in the first place, are so many so bent on “inevitable American decline and inexorable Chinese ascendancy”, as WRM puts it?

    • Corlyss

      “But why, in the first place, are so many so bent on “inevitable American decline and inexorable Chinese ascendancy”, as WRM puts it?”

      Maybe one of the interns wrote it. If WRM thinks that way, and I rather suspect he doesn’t from other things he’s written here, he should read George Friedman of Stratfor and Robert D. Kaplan. Years ago, even in the face of the Chinese rise, Friedman declared the 21st Century as continuing the 20th Century’s “American Century” trends. Kaplan speaks of regional hegemons vying with the US for primacy in their spheres, but there’s no serious challenger to the US either economically or militarily. As long as we get rid of Obama and his acolytes who are determined to tie Gulliver down, reduce it to “just another actor,” there’s no reason to believe in American decline. Read Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs or a good biography of her to see how England rose from the dead. It is possible.

    • Atanu Maulik

      But why, in the first place, are so many so bent on “inevitable American decline and inexorable Chinese ascendancy”, as WRM puts it?______ Jealousy, maybe.

  • crocodilechuck

    Only an idiot could spin this like a virtue.

    The top two categories of GER imports to the US consist of cars and trucks of a quality (design and engineering) which US mfrs cannot even approach (BMW, Mercedes, even VW), and machine tools-and industry which the US used to OWN.

    But, hey-gotta keep that current account in deficit, right Walter?

    You don’t really write this s _ _ _, do you?

  • Atanu Maulik

    USA: Saving Europe from itself since 1917.

  • cubanbob

    Germany’s export success is driven in large part by not being obsessed with college educations for all. They realize that a college education for its own sake doesn’t translate in to economic success. Instead they steer kids who are not intellectually or temperamentally inclined towards college into vocational training. It takes a lot of smarts and skills to be a good tool and die maker, to run computer aided manufacturing machinery and the like. We are starting to lose these types of jobs to other countries not because of wages and benefits-at these price of goods level labor is a very small component of cost-but rather to insufficient number of people who are willing to do this work even though the pay is on par or better than college grads.

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