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German Exports Gained in June in Signal Economy Gathered Pace

A small boat travels alongside the container ship Hamburg Express, operated by Hapag-Lloyd AG, in the Port of Hamburg at the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) terminal in Hamburg, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
A small boat travels alongside the container ship Hamburg Express, operated by Hapag-Lloyd AG, in the Port of Hamburg at the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) terminal in Hamburg, Germany. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- German exports rose in June, adding to signs that the recovery in Europe’s largest economy is gaining traction.

Exports, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, increased 0.6 percent from May, when they dropped a revised 2 percent that was less than originally estimated, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists predicted an increase of 0.9 percent, according to the median forecast of 13 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Imports fell 0.8 percent.

Demand for German-made goods is increasing as the 17-nation euro area, the country’s biggest trading partner, shows signs of emerging from its longest-ever recession and the U.S. economic expansion accelerates. European countries accounted for 69 percent of German exports last year and the U.S. for 12 percent, according to the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden.

“Exports will probably rise slowly over the following months as growth in North America picks up and countries in the euro area recover,” Gerd Hassel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Bhf-Bank AG, said before the report. “Germany will grow faster than other euro-area countries as domestic demand also increases.”

Manufacturing in the euro region expanded last month for the first time in two years, according to a survey of purchasing managers by London-based Markit Economics. The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7 percent annualized rate from April through June after a 1.1 percent pace in the first quarter. German consumer confidence this month will rise to the highest level since August 2007, according to a survey by GfK SE.

Trade Gap

Germany’s trade surplus widened to 16.9 billion euros ($22.6 billion) in June from a revised 13.6 billion euros in May, today’s report showed. The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, increased to 17.3 billion euros from 11.2 billion euros.

The Bundesbank said last month that it sees the German economy slowing after it grew “strongly” in the second quarter. German and euro-area gross domestic product data for the three months ended June will be released on Aug. 14. The currency bloc’s economy shrank in the six quarters through March.

At the same time, the Ifo institute’s measure of German business confidence climbed for a third month in July and factory orders, an indicator of future production, jumped the most in eight months in June. The Sentix research institute said euro-area investor sentiment gained this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Weixin Zha in Frankfurt at wzha2@bloomberg.net

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