German companies defied the coronavirus crisis to increase their exports for the eleventh month in a row in March, data from the Statistics Office showed today.

German export growth came in at 1.2%, twice the rate economists had forecast.

Exports to the UK fell for the third month in a row since the country definitively left the European Union's internal market in on January 1, shrinking by a further 13.2% to €6.5 billion.

But imports from Britain rose slightly, by 1.6%, to reach €3.1 billion.

Imports from the rest of the world also surged, with Germany importing 6.5% more by value in March than in the previous month, well ahead of a forecast of 0.7%, pushing the trade balance to its lowest level since last April.

The export surge lowered the German trade balance to €14.3 billion, its lowest level since last April.