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August 7, 2009    

Tentative signs of recovery in Germany as exports surge

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by Kay Murchie

Exports in Europe’s largest economy surged 7% in June - the fastest pace in almost three years, suggesting that Germany is emerging from its worst recession since World War II.

The economy shrank by 3.8% in the first quarter of the year (the most since reunification in 1990), weighed down by a slump in demand for exports. For the last six years, Germany has been the world’s biggest exporter of goods.

Figures from the Federal Statistics Office show that exports totalled €67.4 billion (£57.8 billion), up from €63 billion in May, while imports rose by 6.8% to €56.4 billion in June.

Today’s figures add to the speculation that Germany is recovering from the recession after a recent survey by the IFO Institute said confidence in companies across all sectors of the economy had risen to a seven-month high in June.

In addition, official data released yesterday showed manufacturing orders grew at their fastest pace in two years in June on strong foreign demand.

Yesterday, Karl-Theodor Guttenberg, the economy minister, said that the Germany economy held steady in the second quarter.

The export figures were welcomed by analysts with Juergen Michels at Citigroup saying: “This means the German economy likely stabilised in the second quarter.”

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