Currency Appreciation and Exports: Empirical Evidence for Germany
In the first decade after its introduction, the Euro didn’t just hold up well, but compared to important currencies even appreciated considerably. Of course, exchange rate risks were noticeably lowered by introducing the single currency, since the bulk of EMU Member States’ exports are conducted within the currency union. Nevertheless, a strong Euro is unfavourable especially for open economies like Germany. The article investigates the effects of exchange rate movements on German exports over time. The analyses reveal a downward impact of nominal effective exchange rates, not only for total, but also for exports to countries outside the currency union. Although an increasing pass-through of exchange rate changes to export prices is apparently at hand, further reasons for the dwindling effect of nominal exchange rates on exports are likely to exist. In this context, it is shown that exports are less sensitive not only with respect to nominal, but also with respect to real effective exchange rate changes, suggesting a declining price elasticity of demand. Instead, exports are increasingly determined by economic activity in trading partner countries. In consequence of its geographic proximity, Germany did particularly benefit from the economic upswing in Eastern Europe, overlaying the appreciation of the Euro. Additionally, the latter could hardly impair German export industries due to their specialization on capital and high-quality consumer goods less vulnerable to exchange rate fluctuations.