Germany's exports grew unexpectedly in August as declining shipments to euro nations were offset by higher demand from other countries, which further lifted hopes of growth in the largest Eurozone economy, data from Destatis showed Monday.
Out-pacing the increase in imports, shipments rose 2.4 percent from a month ago, when it climbed 0.4 percent. At the same time, the month-on-month growth in imports remained unchanged at 0.3 percent.
Economists had forecast a 0.6 percent drop in exports, while a 0.2 percent growth in imports.
Ralph Solveen at Commerzbank said the increase in exports does not change the poor near-term outlook for the German economy given that, at present, the uncertainty resulting from the sovereign debt crisis is apparently working as an offsetting force for the very sound cyclical framework.
On yearly comparison, exports gained 5.8 percent, down from the 9.1 percent expansion in July. Likewise, growth in imports slowed to 0.4 percent from 1.8 percent.
The trade surplus totaled EUR 16.3 billion versus a EUR 16.9 billion surplus in the prior month. The August surplus was forecast to fall to EUR 15.6 billion. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the trade surplus increased to EUR 18.3 billion.
Meanwhile, the current account surplus fell unexpectedly to EUR 11.1 billion in August from a revised surplus of EUR 11.7 billion in July. The surplus was forecast to rise to EUR 13 billion.
Germany's dispatches to the European Union increased by 0.4 percent annually and arrivals from those countries gained 0.7 percent. On the other hand, exports to Eurozone dipped 3.1 percent and imports from those countries grew 1.1 percent.
Exports of commodities to countries outside the European Union surged 13 percent, while imports rose only 0.1 percent.
The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is slated to release August industrial output data later today. In August, factory orders were down 1.3 percent on a monthly basis, official data showed last week.
Indicating weak economic activity, the latest Purchasing Managers' survey said the private sector activity remained in the negative territory in September.
Unemployment in Germany increased for the sixth consecutive month in September as companies struggled with weak orders amid fears of looming recession in the euro area.
by RTT Staff Writer
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