German exports rise unexpectedly in March, surplus widens

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BERLIN (AP) — German exports rose unexpectedly in March, outpacing import growth and widening the trade surplus for Europe’s largest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office reported Friday that exports rose 1.5% in March over February to 112.7 billion euros ($126.5 billion), where economists had been predicting a slight decrease. Imports rose 0.4% to 92.7 billion euros in figures adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

That left the trade surplus at 20 billion euros, up from 18.7 billion euros the month before.

In unadjusted figures, total exports came in at 118.3 billion euros, up 1.9% over March 2018, while imports totaled 95.6 billion euros, up 4.5% over last March. The unadjusted trade surplus dropped from 24.6 billion euros in March 2018 to 22.7 billion euros in March 2019.

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