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Business

German exports in August stun analysts

German companies have posted a surprise increase in exports in August. Fresh statistical data show that sluggish trade with eurozone nations has been comfortably offset by stronger demand outside that bloc.

German exports logged a surprise gain in August despite an ongoing debt crisis in the euro area. Domestic companies sold 2.4 percent more products abroad month-on-month, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Monday.

The jump, which took analysts completely unawares, marked the biggest monthly increase since May and followed an expected 0.4-percent decline in July.

"It's unbelievable how well German exporters are faring in such a volatile environment," Dekabank Economist Andreas Scheuerle commented.

"The export gain in August comes as a surprise," Sal Oppenheim's Ulrike Kastens added. "But I'm still expecting a downward trend in the months ahead."

Huge surplus, again

Year-on-year, German exports even climbed by 5.8 percent despite a 3.1-percent slump in the volume of goods shipped to important trading partners in the crisis-stricken euro area.

But the impact of recession in many eurozone member countries was offset by a staggering 13-percent surge in exports to the world's leading economies, including the US and China.

While German firms exported goods to the tune of 90.1 billion euros ($117 billion) in August, only 73.8 billion euros worth of goods were imported in the same month, leaving the country with a trade surplus of 16.3 billion euros.

hg/msh   (Reuters, dpa)