German exports rebound in April

Germany exported goods worth 130.4 billion euros ($139 billion) in April, data published by federal statistics agency Destatis said, a 1.2-percent increase on the previous month.

In March, demand for "made in Germany" goods plunged by 6 percent.

The bounce-back was driven by a 4.7-percent jump in exports to the United States, which was once again Germany's biggest export destination.

Exports to key market China saw a 10.1-percent increase, while those to European Union countries rose by more than four percent.

Imports fell 1.7 percent in April to 112 billion euros, leading a trade surplus of 18.4 billion euros for the month.

The rise in exports after March's sharp decline brought some relief, analysts said, after Europe's export powerhouse slid into a recession at the turn of the year as inflation and higher interest rates curbed demand.

But the April rebound in exports is "too little to make us happy," said ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski.

"Trade is no longer the strong resilient growth driver of the German economy it used to be," he said.

An expected slowdown in the U.S. economy, ongoing supply chain frictions and China increasingly being able to produce its own goods would all "leave clear marks on German exports," Brzeski warned.

The German economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2023 following a 0.5-percent contraction in the final quarter of last year, according to figures released by Destatis at the end of last month.

The German government expects the economy to grow by 0.4 percent over the whole of 2023.

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