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Business

Surprisingly strong rise in German exports

German companies sold goods and services worth 100.4 billion euros ($112 billion) in April, much more than expected. The rise is mainly due to strong demand from outside the EU.

Compared with the month of March, exports rose by 1.9 percent in April. On an annual basis, exports increased by 7.5 percent, official figures showed on Monday. Both figures were higher than analysts expected.

"It's a good start to the second quarter," Christian Schulz from Germany's Berenberg Bank told the Reuters news agency. "March's somewhat weaker data seems to have been just a blib."

Exports to countries outside the eurozone rose by 11.8 percent, while exports to the eurozone increased by just 3.3 percent.

Alexander Krüge from Bankhaus Lampe told Reuters that it was "of particular importance that the production of investment goods such as machines have been ramped up. That and rising

industrial orders

are signs of future growth."

Production at manufacturing, construction and energy companies increased by 0.9 percent compared with March, almost twice as much as expected. Cheap oil and a weak euro are continuing to boost production and exports in Europe's largest economy.

Imports, meanwhile, logged a surprise fall in April, by 1.3 percent. Economists had predicted a 0.5-percent rise. Germany's trade surplus now stands a 22.1 billion euros.

ng/uhe (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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