German exports rise 5.8 per cent in Q1 but signs of trouble in eurozone

BERLIN – New figures show German exports up 5.8 per cent in 2012’s first quarter over the same period last year, but slowing within the key European Union market and dropping sharply in those European nations worst hit by the financial crisis.

The Federal Statistical Office reported Friday that Germany’s exports grew to €276 billion in the first quarter compared to €260.9 billion in 2011’s first quarter.

Exports within the European Union grew 2.2 per cent to €161.2 billion, and only 0.9 per cent to the other 16 countries using the euro currency to €107.4 billion.

Exports to Italy were down 7.6 per cent; to Spain down 7.8 per cent; to Portugal down 14 per cent; and to Greece down 9.8 per cent.

Aided by a weaker euro, exports to non-EU countries grew 11.2 per cent to €114.8 billion.