German exports and imports both leapt to record monthly levels in March.
Exports were up by 0.9 percent – adjusted for seasonal factors – and imports rose 1.2 percent.
That bolsters hopes that Europe’s largest economy has escaped recession.
Coming on the heels of strong German industrial output and orders figures that highlights the country’s resilience to the eurozone’s deepening debt crisis.
Economists said the jump in imports also provided crumbs of comfort to Germany’s struggling peers in the euro zone.
Trade figures from France, the euro zone’s second biggest economy, showed its exports to Germany and other northern European countries increasing in March even as its sales to the crisis-stricken Mediterranean region tumbled.
The competitive German economy is profiting from the revival of global trade after a soft patch at the end of 2011.
Today’s figures support our forecast that the German economy has grown slightly at the start of the year,” said Ulrich Rondorf, an analyst at Commerzbank.
This would enable Germany to avoid a technical recession – defined as two successive quarters of contraction – as its economy shrank by 0.2 percent in October-December 2011.
Germany’s eight leading economic institutes have revised upwards their 2012 growth forecast to 0.9 percent. The government is sticking to its forecast of 0.7 percent.