Investor Alert

July 9, 2020, 2:22 a.m. EDT

German exports rebounded less than expected

By Xavier Fontdegloria

German exports rebounded in May, albeit less than expected, as demand warmed up amid an easing of restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

German exports rose 9.0% in May from April in adjusted terms, statistics office Destatis said Thursday. Economists had forecast a 13.5% increase in exports in adjusted terms, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll.

In April, exports plunged by 24% compared with March amid the pandemic, the steepest monthly decline since the data was first published in 1990.

In May, imports grew 3.5% on the month. The figures account for seasonal swings and calendar effects.

Compared with February, the month before the coronavirus lockdown, exports decreased by a calendar and seasonally adjusted 26.8%, and imports by 18.2%, Destatis said.

Germany's trade surplus--the balance of exports and imports of goods--totaled 7.6 billion euros ($8.59 billion) in calendar and seasonally adjusted terms in May, Destatis said.

Exports totaled EUR80.3 billion, while imports amounted to EUR73.2 billion, both in adjusted terms. Of the exports, EUR42.4 billion went to European Union member states and EUR37.7 billion to other countries.

According to provisional results from the Deutsche Bundesbank, the current account of the balance of payments showed a EUR6.5 billion surplus, which takes into account the balances of trade in goods including supplementary trade items, services, primary income and secondary income.

The trade figures follow data earlier this week which showed a rebound of the German industrial sector in May. Industrial output posted a 7.8% gain and manufacturing orders increased 12.3%.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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