German exports up 0.9 per cent


German exports unexpectedly increased for a third month in March as demand from outside the euro zone offset weaker sales in Europe.

Exports, adjusted for work days and seasonal changes, rose 0.9 per cent from February, when they gained 1.5 per cent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today.

Economists forecast a drop of 0.5 per cent, according to the median of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Imports climbed 1.2 per cent.

Today's report is the third in as many days to suggest Germany may have returned to growth in the first quarter.

Factory orders and industrial production both rose more than economists forecast in March.

The trade surplus widened to €17.4 billion in March from €14.9 billion in February, today's report showed.

The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, was €19.8 billion, up from €11.7 billion a month earlier.