German exports rebounded more than expected in August, recording their biggest rise in more than six years and dispelling fears that Europe's biggest economy is heading for a slowdown. 

Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 5.4%, the largest rise since May 2010, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed today, while imports increased by 3%. 

The data signals that exports, which had been weakening and losing their traditional role as the main growth driver in Germany, will contribute to an expected expansion in the third quarter. 

Analysts linked the jump in exports to an improving economy in China, but they warned that world trade remains weak and risks are high, especially from a possible "hard" exit by Britain from the European Union. 

Weak data in July had raised concerns that the German economy will slow in the third quarter. 

But those concerns have largely quelled by positive figures in recent weeks. Industrial production rose more than expected in August, posting its biggest increase since January to rebound from the steepest fall in 23 months last month. 

The government raised its growth forecast for this year to 1.8% from 1.7%, which would be the strongest expansion in half a decade. 

A Reuters poll had pointed to exports rising by 2.2% and imports posting a 0.7% increase. 

The jump in exports widened the seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €22.2 billion from €19.4 billion in July. The August reading was above the Reuters consensus forecast of €20 billion.