French and German export results - An Analysis by sector and Partner-Country
Since the beginning of the decade, French exports in goods and services have grown less dynamically than German ones. Indeed, independently of any exchange-rate mechanism, the ratio of French to German exports in manufactured goods in current prices dropped by 3.3% on average per year between 2000 and 2003. Through a descriptive analysis, we attempt to identify the stylized facts behind Frances poorer trade results relatively to Germany. We base our analysis on OECD international trade statistics (STAN bilateral trade database). In particular, we consider Frances and Germanys export declarations by sector and by partner-country. France lost market shares with respect to Germany in the majority of the manufacturing sectors between 2000 and 2003. These losses were particularly pronounced in the technologically intensive sectors of machines and equipments and transports. Regarding the geographical destination of exports, France has lost market shares relatively to Germany with respect to their two principal partners, i.e. the Euro-zone and the United States. In 2003, France nevertheless regained a fraction of the market shares lost over the 2000-2002 period. Recently, Germany has breached the gap with France even further on the Chinese imports market. It seems to have been in a better position to profit from the dynamic growth of the Chinese economy through its exports.
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