The Bundesbank said today that it was upgrading its growth forecast for the German economy this year, saying Europe's economic powerhouse is on a "robust" growth path. 

"The German economy made a very buoyant start to 2014," the German central bank wrote in a statement. 

"Even if it does not maintain the high rate of growth seen in the first quarter, the Bundesbank's economists are still confident about Germany's growth prospects," the statement added.

"Germany's strengthened domestic economy as well as the ongoing improvement in the economic situation of the industrial countries and the gradual recovery of the euro area suggests that Germany will follow a robust growth path," said central bank president Jens Weidmann.

Germany's gross domestic product was projected to grow by 1.9% in 2014 and then by 2% in 2015, followed by growth of 1.8% in 2016, the Bundesbank predicted.

German trade surplus widens in April

Germany's trade surplus widened in April, as exports grew but imports stagnated, official data showed today. 

In seasonally adjusted terms, Germany exported goods worth €94.3 billion in April, up from €91.6 billion in March, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement. Imports were unchanged at €76.6 billion. 

That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus - the balance between imports and exports - increased to €17.7 billion in April from €15 billion in March. 

In unadjusted terms, however, the trade surplus narrowed to €17.4 billion in April from €18 billion in March, as exports decreased, Destatis said.

Meanwhile, German industrial production expanded slightly in April, driven by robust activity in the energy sector, data showed today. According to regular data compiled by the economy ministry, industrial output increased by 0.2% in April, after falling by 0.6% in March. 

Manufacturing output edged up by 0.1% and energy output increased by 2.7%, while construction  output contracted by 1.2%.

Taking the period from February to April combined to iron out short-term fluctuations, industrial output grew by 0.5% compared with the preceding three-month period, the ministry calculated.