German exports bounced back in April after falling a month earlier, official data showed Monday, but analysts said it was too soon to see a recovery in Europe’s recession-hit largest economy.
Germany exported goods worth 130.4 billion euros ($139 billion) in April, data published by federal statistics agency Destatis said, a 1.2-per cent increase on the previous month.
In March, demand for “made in Germany” goods plunged by six per cent.
The bounce-back was driven by a 4.7-per cent jump in exports to the United States, which was once again Germany’s biggest export destination.
Exports to key market China saw a 10.1-per cent increase, while those to European Union countries rose by more than four per cent.
Imports fell 1.7 per cent in April to 112 billion euros, leading a trade surplus of 18.4 billion euros for the month.
The rise in exports after March’s sharp decline brought some relief, analysts said, after Europe’s export powerhouse slid into a recession at the turn of the year as inflation and higher interest rates curbed demand.
But the April rebound in exports is “too little to make us happy”, said ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski.
“Trade is no longer the strong resilient growth driver of the German economy it used to be,” he said.
An expected slowdown in the US economy, ongoing supply chain frictions and China increasingly being able to produce its own goods would all “leave clear marks on German exports”, Brzeski warned.
The German economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of 2023 following a 0.5-per cent contraction in the final quarter of last year, according to figures released by Destatis at the end of last month.
The German government expects the economy to grow by 0.4 per cent over the whole of 2023.