(Bloomberg) -- German exports rose more than economists forecast in June as the global recovery helped bolster an export-led expansion in Europe's largest economy.
Sales abroad, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, rose 3.8 percent from May, when they increased a revised 7.9 percent, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said Monday. Economists forecast a gain of 1.5 percent, the median of 11 estimates, a Bloomberg News survey shows. Imports rose 1.9 percent from May, when they jumped 13.7 percent.
“These surprisingly high exports raise expectations,” said Simon Junker, an economist at Frankfurt-based Commerzbank AG. “Trade with Asia is above pre-crisis level and German incoming orders point toward good growth numbers over the next few months.”
The euro has shed 7.3 percent against the dollar this year, making exports more competitive outside the 16-nation region just as the global recovery gathered strength. BMW AG, the world's biggest maker of luxury cars, on August 3 reported the biggest profit in 2 1/2 years. Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest carmaker, on July 29 reported the biggest quarterly profit in two years.
The euro rose against the dollar after the trade report, strengthening as much as 0.2 percent to $1.3308 before paring its gain. As of 8:51 CET in Frankfurt, it was at $1.3284.
German exports rose 29 percent in June from a year earlier, Monday's report showed. Exports to countries outside the European Union increased 37 percent and sales to countries within the euro region rose 22 percent.
Reviving export demand may have helped the German economy gather strength in the second quarter. Gross domestic product probably rose 1.3 percent from the first quarter, when it increased 0.2 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The statistics office will release the report on August 13.
Germany's trade surplus widened to 14.1 billion euros ($19 billion) in June from 9.8 billion euros in May. The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, was 12.9 billion euros, up from 1.8 billion euros in May.
“Exports to China are back to pre-crisis level,” said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Credit Agricole SA in Paris. “We expect the positive trend to continue at least until the end of 2010.”