June 9, 2017 / 6:07 AM / a year ago

Surprise rise in German imports narrows trade surplus in April

FRANKFURT, June 9 (Reuters) - German exports rose more strongly than expected in April and imports posted an even bigger increase, narrowing the trade surplus of Europe’s biggest economy, data showed on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted exports were up 0.9 percent on the month while imports jumped 1.2 percent, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed.

A Reuters poll had pointed to exports rising 0.3 percent and imports falling 1.0 percent.

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus edged down to 19.8 billion euros from a revised 19.9 billion euros in March. The April reading was below the Reuters consensus forecast of 20.3 billion euros.

Germany’s wider current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, plunged to 15.1 billion euros after a revised 31.1 billion euros in March, the data showed.

Domestic demand has replaced exports as the main growth driver in Germany as consumers and the state are benefiting from record-high employment, rising tax revenues and low borrowing costs enabled by the European Central Bank’s loose monetary policy. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Andrea Shalal)

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