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Consumers help German economy to rebound in Q1

Cruise ships are seen on the river Main during sun set in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

BERLIN (AP) — German exports rose unexpectedly in March, outpacing import growth and widening the trade surplus for Europe's largest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office reported Friday that exports rose 1.5% in March over February to 112.7 billion euros ($126.5 billion), where economists had been predicting a slight decrease. Imports rose 0.4% to 92.7 billion euros in figures adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

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That left the trade surplus at 20 billion euros, up from 18.7 billion euros the month before.

In unadjusted figures, total exports came in at 118.3 billion euros, up 1.9% over March 2018, while imports totaled 95.6 billion euros, up 4.5% over last March. The unadjusted trade surplus dropped from 24.6 billion euros in March 2018 to 22.7 billion euros in March 2019.

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