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German exports jump in February

FRANKFURT, Apr 9 – Germany posted a monthly export increase in February that partially offset a sharp drop in January, official data showed on Friday, benefiting from a rebound in global trade and a drop in the value of the euro.

German exports jumped by 4.7 percent from January and recorded a yearly gain of 9.6 percent, the Destatis statistics office said.

The country\’s trade surplus climbed to 12.6 billion euros (16.8 billion euros) from 8.9 billion euros in February 2008, it added.

The data represented a partial correction of January\’s unexpectedly steep 6.3 percent monthly drop in exports, and indicated that a pickup in global trade was benefitting Germany\’s export-led economy, the biggest in Europe.

Germany lost its title of leading global exporter to China last year, but will get a boost this year from the euro\’s fall in value against other major currencies.

In February, German exports reached a total value of 70 billion euros, while imports increased by 4.2 percent on an annual basis to 57.3 billion euros, Destatis said.

"Today\’s sharp increase in German exports was not, yet, enough to turn net exports into a growth driver in the first quarter but it clearly shows that the export-led recovery is still intact," ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski commented.

Although other German data for February has disappointed, with stagnating industrial production and orders and weak private consumption, a large part of the government\’s stimulus plans have yet to kick in, he noted.

"Positive growth surprises are still in the pipeline," Brzeski concluded.

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