German exports declined by 1.5% in February compared with the previous month, adding to mixed signals about Europe's biggest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office said the decline cancelled out a 1.3% gain the previous month.

Germany exported goods and services worth €90.4 billion, a figure adjusted for calendar and seasonal effects.

In year-on-year terms, exports were down 2.8%. Demand in other euro area countries, several of which are in recession, led that decline with a drop of 4.1%.

Germany's economy is widely believed to have grown in the first quarter after shrinking by a quarterly rate of 0.6% in the last three months of 2012. Industrial orders rebounded more strongly than expected in February, reinforcing that expectation.