German exports unexpectedly rose in July as growth in overseas markets offset weak European demand. Imports to Germany were up by an even larger margin, proving the economy's resilience to the downturn in the eurozone.
Exports from Germany edged up 0.5 percent in July compared with the previous month, while Europe's biggest economy spent 0.9 percent more on imports, according to data released by the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) Friday.
The gains partially reversed an export drop in June, in which demand for German goods and services abroad slumped by 1.4 percent, while imports fell 0.3 percent.
Destatis figures showed that overall German exports from January to July 2012 climbed 5.4 percent over the same period in 2011.
German export growth in that period, Destatis said, primarily came from robust overseas' demand, notably in the United States and China, which had led to an 11.8-percent jump in shipments.
Destatis noted that this had helped offset a 0.6-percent drop in exports to Germany's key trading partners in the eurozone from January to July.
At the same time, imports to Germany had gained 2.3 percent since the start of the year, Destatis said.
July's figures gave rise to hopes of a "successful start to the third quarter" for the German economy, said Unicredit analysts Andreas Rees.
"It doesn't look like activity in the industrial sector will dramatically slide," he told Reuters news agency, adding, however, that other data published recently had shown a mixed picture of German economic development for the rest of 2012.
While German industrial orders rose by 0.5 percent in July, according to data released Thursday, business confidence dropped for a fourth consecutive month in August, according to the closely-watched Ifo Business Climate Index, published last week.
uhe/msh (dpa, Reuters)