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Germany’s trade surplus soared 28 percent in June


Germany’s trade surplus soared 28 percent in June compared with May, with exports posting the highest rise in nearly three years, official data showed yesterday.

In a sign that the main motor of Europe’s biggest economy was spluttering back to life, exports enjoyed a 7 percent rise in June compared with the previous month, while imports were up 6.8 percent, seasonally adjusted figures from the Federal Statistics Office said.

The total trade surplus, of 12.2 billion euros (US$17 billion), surprised analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who were expecting a weaker result of 10.7 billion euros.

Nevertheless, the trade surplus from January to June this year was 44.8 percent weaker than the same period last year, demonstrating that Germany still has some way to go to climb out of its deepest recession in six decades.

The trade data are the latest in a series of positive surprises for Germany, one of the world’s leading exporters.

On Thursday, the economy ministry reported that industrial orders had jumped by 4.5 percent in June following a 4.4 percent rise in May, adding that prospects for the key sector had improved.

In addition, so-called “soft” data, such as business and consumer confidence surveys are pointing to brighter times ahead in Germany.

However, the government has so far stuck to its gloomy projection of an economy shrinking by a record 6 percent this year, before creeping back into the black next year with a meager 0.5 percent growth.

Separately, the French trade balance showed an increased deficit in June of 4.008 billion euros from 3.137 billion euros in May, adjusted data from the customs service showed yesterday.

In the 12 months to the end of June, the cumulative balance showed a deficit of 52.926 billion euros. In June, exports totaled 27.441 billion euros, a slight fall from the figure in May, owing mainly to a reduction in the number of aircraft exported from an unusually high figure in May.

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