German trade and industry powers aheadComments
German exports and imports both hit record-highs in March. It was the third straight monthly rise for exports as Europe’s biggest economy benefits from a improvement in global trade.
It is astonishing how the German economy is defying global risks, whether politically or economicallyBGA trade association head
Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.4 percent on the month to hit a record high of 105.4 billion euros.
Imports jumped by 2.4 percent also to hit the highest value recorded in a month of 85.8 billion euros.
Industrial production edged down by 0.4 percent on the month in March but was still better than expected.
In the first quarter as a whole, industrial production increased by 1.4 percent on the quarter.
The Economy Ministry said manufacturing – and particularly construction are gaining momentum with that trend set to continue.
It was also revealed that job vacancies hit an all-time high in the first three months of this year.
On Monday it was announced that German factory orders rose for the second consecutive month in March.
“German exports had an impressive first quarter,” BGA trade association head Anton Börner said, adding that business with other European Union countries and overseas markets such as China and the United States was flourishing.
“It is astonishing how the German economy is defying global risks, whether politically or economically,” Börner added.
Boost for Merkel
The overall robust readouts are the latest in a batch of solid economic figures that are likely to help Chancellor Angela Merkel burnish her economic credentials ahead of a Sept. 24 federal election, when she will seek a fourth term.
The economic numbers also underline the strength of the German economy compared with its peers.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat in Merkel’s coalition, has urged her conservatives to adopt a less rigid stance in fiscal policy towards France after the election of the pro-reform centrist Emmanuel Macron as president.