The euro zone increased its trade surplus with the rest of the world in March with both exports and imports rising markedly.

The figures are a sign that global commerce has so far not been hampered by protectionist calls. 

The European Union statistics office Eurostat said the euro zone recorded a €30.9 billion surplus in March in its goods trade balance with states outside the bloc, according to data not adjusted for seasonal factors.  

The March surplus is nearly double that of February when the bloc has a positive balance of €17.8 billion, and also higher than a year earlier when the surplus was €28.2 billion. 

The euro zone, driven by Germany, expanded its exports by 13% in March on a yearly basis to a total value of €202.3 billion, unadjusted figures show. 

Imports to the bloc also increased by 14%, although from a lower basis, showing that trade flows have not been affected by growing protectionist calls, such as from US President Donald Trump. 

Exports of the 28 EU countries to the US in the first quarter increased by 11% compared with the same quarter last year. 

Imports from the US rose a more modest 4%, resulting in an expanded EU trade surplus with the US totalling €30.6 billion from €23.6 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2016. 

The EU increased its exports to all major trade partners in the first quarter of this year, with a 28% surge in sales to Russia and a 22% increase in exports to China. 

Imports from China grew only 3%, reducing the EU trade deficit with Beijing to €41.7 billion from €47.3 billion a year ago.

Figures adjusted for seasonal factors showed the euro zone surplus was €23.1 billion in March from €18.8 billion in February, with a 1.4% increase in exports on the month and a 1.1% drop in imports.