Sentiment at five-year high after €1tn export boost
GERMAN exports rose 11.4pc last year to breach the €1 trillion level for the first time, the country's statistics office said yesterday.
Exports totalled €1.06tn in 2011, the country's Federal Statistics Office said. December saw exports fall 4.3pc from November, or four times more than economists had forecast in December, as the sovereign debt crisis damped growth across the euro region.
While the German economy probably shrank 0.25pc in the final three months of 2011, data this year suggests it could avoid recession, which is commonly defined as two consecutive quarterly contractions.
Business sentiment jumped to a five-month high in January and factory orders gained 1.7pc in December, driven by demand from outside the 17-nation euro area.
"The global economy seems to be gaining traction and some of the uncertainty related to the region's debt crisis has declined," said Ulrike Rondorf, an economist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.
"But exports to the euro area will remain weak and are clearly a risk."
Germany's trade surplus narrowed to €12.9bn in December from €15.9bn in November, the statistics office said. The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, was €19.3bn, up from €14.7bn a month earlier. (Bloomberg)