Germany announces record $247B trade surplus

Global Business

Germany’s announcement of a record trade surplus of 217 billion euros ($247 billion) in 2014 comes as the rest of the Eurozone hovers near crisis point, with lagging growth, and one of it’s members risking an exit from the single currency. CCTV’s Guy Henderson reported this story from Berlin.

Germany announces record $247B trade surplus

Germany announces record $247B trade surplus

Germany's announcement of a record trade surplus of 217 billion euros ($247 billion) in 2014 comes as the rest of the Eurozone hovers near crisis point, with lagging growth, and one of it's members risking an exit from the single currency. CCTV's Guy Henderson reported this story from Berlin.

Germany is running the highest trade surplus of any major economy, higher than even China’s. That might be making Germans happy, but it’s Eurozone partners have become increasingly upset.

Countries like Greece have complained that they can’t compete at a time when they’re already struggling. At the same time, growth in Germany has slowed at a time when interest rates are already near rock bottom, drawing worrying comparisons with Japan’s economy.

“The Japanese have tried for over 10 years to fight deflation with very little success. This could happen to Europe,” Alfons Frese, a financial journalist for Der Tagsspiel said. “I believe that in 2015, Germany has a responsibility to the Eurozone. Through higher investment, it has to keep European economies going.”

For now, the marketplace can barely get enough of German products. Auto-maker BMW this week announced plans to create 5,000 new jobs as it rolls out another model this summer, the 2 -Series Gran Tourer.

But not all of Germany’s exports are high-end.

PappUp is a start-up that makes biodegradable glasses. Some of these simpler ideas have taken off globally.

Launched in 2010, the company made 200,000 euros ($227,800) last year. It hopes to more than double that in 2015. Founder and graphic designer Cantemir Gheorghiu said exports make up 80 percent of the business.

“We are founding right now an HQ in Hong Kong. Our main countries are sunny Italy which focuses a lot on fashion,” Gheorghiu said. “France, Spain, South Africa also. But also countries like – you wouldn’t think it but Greece – and Georgia! Very exotic I think.”