Export markets USA: For German Companies Business with the US is Gaining Real Momentum

Author / Editor: Stéphane Itasse / Rosemarie Stahl

A brisk economic growth, a strong Dollar – business with the USA is good for German companies. This is also reflected in the German balance of trade in which the US has become the most important export market. Machine manufacturers in particular can expect special impulses.

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For the German machine and plant manufacturing industry, business is rather good in the US at present. Exports increased by 11.2 % in 2015, amounting to 16.8 billion Euro.
For the German machine and plant manufacturing industry, business is rather good in the US at present. Exports increased by 11.2 % in 2015, amounting to 16.8 billion Euro.
(Photo: Siemens)

German exports to the US shot up by more than 18.5 % in 2015: If German exports in 2014 amounted to 96.1 billion Euro, It reached 113.9 billion Euro last year according to the Federal Statistical Office. If imports are also considered, the US again became the most important foreign trade partner of the Federal Republic for the first time since 1959. And German companies remain optimistic: According to the annual business survey of the German Foreign Trade Chambers in the US, 97 % of the German companies represented there expect a growth in turnover, 75 % want to increase their staff. Forty-one percent still want to expand their production capacities to be able to cope with the sustained demand. The search for qualified employees continues to be difficult, as Martin Richenhagen, Chairman of the AHK USA, stated while presenting the survey.


Good economic growth in the US spurs German exports

The good business of the German companies is being supported by a robust economic growth: According to IWF estimates, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the US during the previous year fell by a neat 2.6 % after a good 2.4 % in 2014.

Private consumers who account for a good 2/3rd of the total economy, remain the most crucial growth engine in the US. The constantly improving employment situation, increasing household assets and wages, low petrol prices and advantageous financing conditions ensured exceptionally positive consumption conditions in 2015. For the first time after the financial crisis, a real increase in consumption by more than 3 % could be recorded, according to an analysis of the Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) agency.

The weak oil and gas prices in particular were quite remarkable in the context of corporate investments. Many projects had to be put on hold in the US oil and gas industry. In other industry sectors too, the increase in the value of the US dollar and the weak overseas demand strengthened the sentiment. Nevertheless, the prospects of increasing company investments, according to GTAI is not to be assessed as totally negative. An attractive private consumption demand which in many areas promotes urgent modernization of the industrial asset investments, not to mention the high liquidity reserves of the US economy, rouses hopes of a recovery.

Even the ledgers of the machine manufacturers reflect the strong export growth with the US. In the previous year, the US was able to regain the top position in the Export rankings of the German machine building industry from China. While exports of the sector to China fell by 5.9 % to 16 billion Euro, exports to the US increased by 11.2 % to 16.8 billion Euro, reports VDMA. In 2014, machines and plants worth 15.1 billion Euro were exported from Germany to the US. For the current year too, an overwhelming majority of the German machine builders active there is expecting a growth on the basis of a new survey.