In 2018, four Eurozone economies will top the World ranking, in terms of new export opportunities as a % of GDP

Eurozone: The Gang of Four will lead export opportunities

This year, four of the five world export leaders will likely be Eurozone countries: Germany, Spain, Italy and…what? France!

A pickup in global demand and regional growth is expected to have boosted euro-area real export growth in 2017 (+4.7% after +2.9% in 2016). In 2018, exports should maintain up the pace, growing at +4.4%.

In 2018, exports should keep up the pace, growing at +4.4%.

In Germany, export gains should reach close to 3.8% of GDP in nominal terms. Growth acceleration in the US and France, its two largest export partners, should help German export performance.

We expect exports to grow +4.4% in 2018, as they showed continued momentum in November 2017; exports to Eurozone partners surged at their highest rate in three years.

Such dynamics have added EUR +1.7bn to the trade surplus compared to November 2016. It now stands at +EUR 23.7bn (NSA).

In Italy, exports also benefited from the global trade recovery and acceleration in the Eurozone in 2017, posting a growth of +5.2%. In 2018, we expect export growth to slow to +3.4%, with export gains amounting to 2.8% of GDP.  

Despite buoyant export growth in Spain the past few years, net exports only just started to positively contribute to GDP growth in 2016, which was a cherry on top of the recovery cake.

They are estimated to have added 0.5pp (after 0.7pp in 2016) to Spain’s GDP growth rate in 2017. This year, they will add +0.3pp to GDP growth, with nominal export gains amounting to 3% of GDP.

On the imports side, total imports over 12 months surpassed their 2008 levels and the EUR300bn mark in November 2017, mainly driven by the recovery of industrial intermediate goods (+8.3% 12m/12m) and consumer goods (+6.1% 12m/12m), which testifies to stronger business activity and private consumption.

Nominal export gains as a percentage of GDP