March 9, 2021, 2:29 a.m. EST

German exports unexpectedly rose in January

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By Maria Martinez

German exports continued their recovery in January despite lockdown restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic, beating expectations of a decline.

The country's exports rose 1.4% in January from December in adjusted terms, statistics office Destatis said Tuesday. Economists had forecast a 1.8% decline in adjusted terms, according to a poll by The Wall Street Journal.

Imports in January fell 4.7% on month. The figures account for seasonal swings and calendar effects.

Compared with February--the month before last spring's coronavirus lockdown--exports were down by a calendar and seasonally adjusted 3.3% and imports down by 5.2%, Destatis said.

Germany's trade surplus--the balance of exports and imports of goods--totaled 22.2 billion euros ($26.3 billion) in calendar and seasonally adjusted terms in January, Destatis said. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast the trade surplus at EUR15.8 billion.

According to provisional results from central bank Deutsche Bundesbank, the current account of the balance of payments showed a EUR16.9 billion surplus in January, taking into account the balances of trade in goods including supplementary trade items, services, primary income, and secondary income.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com

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