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RWI Positionen #55


Roland Döhrn

Exporte ohne Sühne?

Außenhandelsüberschüsse in der Eurozone

Recently, Germany has been urged to reduce its foreign trade surplus by stimulating domestic demand. However, this measure is not conducive to success. As a member of the eurozone, the German government has surrendered its most powerful determinant on foreign balances - the exchange rate. Therefore, trade balances within the eurozone should be assessed from a different angle compared to those of third countries. In a wellfunctioning single market, national account balances reflect, above all, differences in competitiveness and regional specialization. It is one of the main goals of the single market and the monetary union to reap the benefits that result from the division of labor between enterprises and countries in the EU. Besides, structural adjustments of the real economy in the eurozone are getting under way. However, until this development has led to a sizeable reduction in differences between national account balances will capital flows from surplus countries to deficit countries be necessary. Those capital flows are processed through a variety of private and public channels. Additional measures on the demand side are, therefore, neither necessary nor useful.