German exports gain 4.3 percent in May: statistics

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany's export machine cranked back up in May, with a 4.3 percent gain from April partially offsetting a slump of 5.6 percent that month, figures released Friday by the national statistics office showed.

The provisional gain in May left Germany, Europe's biggest economy and the world's second biggest exporting nation after China, with a seasonally-adjusted trade surplus of 12.8 billion euros ($18.4 billion), the Destatis office said.

It revised lower an initial estimate for April exports, which had shown a drop of 5.5 percent.

Imports were 3.7 percent higher in May on the month, Destatis said.

On a 12-month comparison, German exports showed an increase of 19.9 percent, while imports were 15.6 percent higher.

Figures provided by the German central bank put the current account of the balance of payments, a broad measure of trade and financial transfers with other countries, at a surplus of 6.9 billion euros in May.

That was more than double the year-earlier figure of 3.1 billion euros.

The numbers suggest there is still life in the German export mechanism, which has accounted for much of the country's economic growth but which might begin to face headwinds owing to a slowdown in global activity.

On Thursday, the economy ministry reported that German industrial output rebounded in May, gaining 1.2 percent on a monthly basis after a decline of 0.8 percent in April

The German economy is officially expected to expand by 2.6 percent this year following growth of 3.6 percent in 2010, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the forecast could be raised above 3.0 percent in the coming months.

© 2011 AFP

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