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There is growing skepticism about export markets in many sectors of Europe's largest economy.
On Tuesday, the Munich-based ifo Institute for Economic Research (IFO) said that sentiment among German exporters has "darkened again" as their expectations fell from plus 3.4 points in June to minus 0.5 points in July.
"The gas shortage is putting a strain on German exports," IFO President Clemens Fuest said, adding that half of the companies surveyed expected exports to shrink.
Gazprom said on Monday that it would further reduce gas flows via the strategically important Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Due to a missing turbine, from Wednesday volumes are to be lowered from 40 percent to 20 percent of capacity, or 33 million cubic meters per day.
There is "growing skepticism about export markets" in many sectors of Europe's largest economy. German automotive companies and manufacturers of machinery and equipment, on the other hand, still expect "moderate" export growth.
As in previous years, motor vehicles and parts were Germany's most important exported products in 2021, accounting for 15.3 percent of total exports with a value of US$213 billion.
International automotive markets showed a "mixed overall picture" in the first half of the year, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Passenger car markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan were down significantly.
"Disrupted value and logistics chains continue to impact markets and production, with the shortage of semiconductors in particular having a limiting effect," VDA said, adding that the high price dynamics in the U.S. and Europe "were additionally burdening the markets."
Nevertheless, German manufacturers of data processing equipment and electronic as well as optical products even expected major increases in exports. According to the German Electro and Digital Industry Association (ZVEI), exports in May were up 11.9 percent year-on-year and reached 19.1 billion euros.
"This was the industry's first double-digit export growth in the current year," ZVEI chief economist Andreas Gontermann said, adding that exports of the German electrical and digital system producers to China, the industry's top customer country, rose by 9.2 percent to 2.2 billion euros in May.