Stronger demand in the eurozone and the larger European Union has boosted German companies' exports. But according to recent polls among executives, the time of record goods deliveries abroad may soon be over.
German exports rose by 1.9 percent in March month-on-month, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Tuesday, with monthly shippings abroad amounting to 107 billion euros ($122 billion).
It was the biggest monthly increase in half a year and came as a surprise after analysts polled by Reuters had not penciled in any growth at all. Year-on-year, exports were down 0.5 percent, though.
March imports dropped by 2.3 percent to 80.9 billion euros, leaving Germany with a trade surplus of 26 billion euros.
Destatis noted that the rise in exports was attributable to stronger demand in the eurozone and across the European Union in general. By contrast, the value of goods delivered to overseas markets like the US and China dipped by 3.4 percent in March.
A recent poll among executives by Germany's foreign chambers of trade suggested that exporters in Europe's powerhouse did not look to the future with much confidence.
Almost three-quarters of respondents said they did not expect German exports to grow on a full-year basis in 2016, given the economic slowdown in a number of crucial overseas markets and the rise in geopolitical tensions around the globe.
hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)