German trade surplus jumps to 17.2 billion euros in March

10th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's trade surplus leapt higher in March, official data showed on Monday as the euro's fall in value against other major currencies helped exports rack up solid gains.

The trade surplus for Europe's biggest economy jumped to 17.2 billion euros (22.2 billion dollars), from 12.7 billion in February according to figures released by the national statistics office.

The result was also much larger than expected, topping an average analyst forecast of 14 billion euros compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

German exports were responsible in large part for the gain, posting an increase of 23.3 percent in March compared with the same month a year earlier, while imports were 18.3 percent higher.

According to figures provided by the German central bank, the country's current account of the balance of payments -- a broad measure of trade with other countries -- showed a surplus of 18 billion euros in March.

That was also well above a forecast of 12.5 billion euros, and the March 2009 figure of 12.3 billion.

Germany lost its title of leading global exporter to China last year, but is getting a boost this year from the euro's fall in value against other major currencies owing to the Greek debt crisis.

On a monthly basis, German exports gained a seasonally corrected 10.7 percent, while imports were up by 11.0 percent, the data showed.

© 2010 AFP

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