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Jul 10, 6:35 AM EDT

German exports higher in May, trade surplus widens

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BERLIN (AP) -- German exports were up 1.4 percent in May compared with the previous month, outpacing import growth and pushing the country's trade surplus higher.

The Federal Statistical Office said Monday that imports to Europe's biggest economy were up 1.2 percent in May. The seasonally adjusted trade surplus was up to 20.3 billion euros ($23.1 billion), from 19.8 billion euros in April.

The figures follow data last week showing that factory orders and industrial production both increased in May.

ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski said that "strong domestic demand has already been around for a long while but the former growth engines, industrial production and exports have also started to gain momentum."

But he cautioned that the increasing value of the euro could affect German exports in the coming months.

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