German Trade Surplus Widens in May

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Germany's trade surplus widened to 18.7 billion euros in May, official data showed Monday, as external demand improved from a month ago.

Exports were up 1.1 percent to 113.9 billion euros from April, while imports eased back 0.5 percent to 93.4 billion euros.

Foreign trade is crucial for the German economy and is being closely monitored as the commercial climate deteriorates amid an escalating trade conflict between the United States and China.

EU nations are not immune to tariff barriers imposed by the U.S. administration during uncertain times for the global economy.

Monday's positive trade surplus data came along with figures showing a small rebound in industrial production for May.

But analysts said it was too early to sound the all-clear.

"The upside: the German economy is not falling off a cliff," Carsten Brzeski at ING said.

"The downside: the relief is too feeble to justify any optimism," he said, adding that it was "obvious that industry continues to suffer from structural changes and the ongoing trade conflicts."