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Germany's exports grew at the fastest pace since August 2012 and imports recovered strongly in January, boosting hopes of recovery at the start of the year.
Shipments grew 1.4 percent in January from a month ago, when it rose 0.2 percent, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Monday. The increase in exports far exceeded the 0.5 percent rise forecast by economists.
Likewise, imports advanced 3.3 percent, sharper than the 0.7 percent growth expected by economists. Moreover, the import performance reversed December's 1.5 percent drop. The import growth outpaced the export growth in January.
The trade surplus increased less than expected to EUR 13.7 billion in January from EUR 12.1 billion in the previous month. The surplus was expected at EUR 14.4 billion.
Trade with the euro area countries remained weak. Germany's exports to euro area rose only 0.4 percent annually, while exports to non-Eurozone countries advanced 5.5 percent. At the same time, imports from Eurozone increased 2.8 percent compared to the 8.7 percent jump in imports from non-Eurozone nations.
On a yearly basis, overall exports grew 3.1 percent after declining 6.9 percent in December. Similarly, imports rose 2.9 percent following a 7.5 percent drop in the previous month.
The current account surplus totaled EUR 11.3 billion compared to a EUR 20.2 billion surplus a month ago.
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