Unfortunately this is will also be spun as ‘austerity works’ as they don’t realize exports are real costs and imports as real benefits, meaning this is in fact evidence of deteriorating real terms of trade.
And, of course, globally it’s a 0 sum game as for every export there is an equal import. But while we can’t all net export, we can all attempt to net export with overly tight fiscal/low aggregate demand/high unemployment etc. in a very ugly race to the bottom.
Additionally, a rise in net exports from euro zone domestic policy comes with upward pressure on the currency that continues to the point where there are no net exports.
That’s why the ‘export models’ include the govt building foreign exchange reserves, as it sells its currency vs the currency of the region targeted for exports. Hence the growing hoards of $US reserves by all the nations targeting the US for exports.
However, the euro zone, unlike Germany under the mark, doesn’t do that for ideological reasons. They don’t want to buy $US and build $US reserves and give the appearance that the $US is the ‘reserve currency’ backing the euro. And so instead of sustaining net exports, the euro goes up to the point where there are no net exports. Note that the euro appreciated from about 85 to 160 to the dollar during its first decade before backing off to under 120 due to portfolio shifting from blind fear of oblivion. And during that time the currency movement always kept net exports in check.
This is all why the ECB doing ‘whatever it takes’ which means conditional funding to sustain solvency while keeping fiscal ‘overly tight’ is extremely euro friendly.
By Simone Meier
August 17 (Bloomberg) — Euro-area exports rose for a second month in June, driven by a surge in shipments from Germany, as companies tapped into emerging markets to offset declining demand at home.\
Exports from the 17-nation currency bloc advanced a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent from May, when they gained 0.4 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Imports stagnated in the period and the trade surplus widened to 10.5 billion euros ($13 billion) from 6.8 billion euros.
Europe’s economy contracted 0.2 percent in the second quarter as tougher austerity measures pushed at least six member states including Italy and Spain into recession. With households and companies across the region cutting spending, exporters such as L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, have relied on faster-growing Asian markets to bolster sales.
“The euro-region economy is undergoing a mild recession,” said Alexander Krueger, chief economist at Bankhaus Lampe KG in Dusseldorf. “The global growth dynamic has eased somewhat, but exports will continue to support development to a certain extent in the second half of the year.”
German exports jumped 6.6 percent in June to 40.9 billion euros, while imports in Europe’s largest economy rose 1.5 percent. Shipments from Italy increased 2 percent in the period.
France and Spain reported gains of 1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.