German exports, imports reach record heights in March

Germany’s exports in goods reached a value of €118.2 billion in March while imports climbed to €92.9 billion | Morris MacMatzen  Getty Images

German industrial orders rose for the second straight month in March, data from the Economy Ministry shows.

Output was up 1.1 percent in the January-March period, driven by a 4.7 percent surge in construction. Andreas Rees, UniCredit's chief German economist, forecasts that Germany's GDP grew at a quarterly clip of "at least 0.6%", or 2.5% in annualized terms, propelled by strong construction output and rising exports.

Nevertheless, taking the first quarter as a whole, industrial orders declined by 1.0 percent from the figure for the preceding three months.

Energy output shrank by 2.5%.

The overall robust readouts were the latest in a batch of solid economic figures and will help centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel burnish her economic credentials ahead of a September 24 federal election, when she will seek a fourth term.

Germany's current-account surplus - the gap between what it earns from and what it spends in overseas markets - came in at EUR30.2 billion ($33 billion) in March, the Destatis statistics office said Tuesday, referring to data that weren't adjusted for seasonal swings.

"Momentum in the industrial sector revived somewhat in the first quarter", the ministry said in an emailed statement.

The economic numbers also underline the strength of the German economy compared with its peers.

In March, the value of export was Euros 9.4 billion or 2919 billion forint while imports value was Euros 8.5 billion or 2622 billion Forints.

"It is astonishing how the German economy is defying global risks, whether politically or economically", Boerner added. "This is also reflected by strongly improved business climate indicators". German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has urged Merkel's conservatives to adopt a less rigid stance in fiscal policy towards France after the election of the pro-reform centrist Emmanuel Macron as president.

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