German exports rise, but trade tensions loom

German exports rise, but trade tensions loom
FILE - In this July 13, 2017, file photo, a crane transporting vehicles operates on a container ship at the Port of Oakland, in Oakland, Calif. German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be willing to back cuts on tariffs on U.S. cars imported to the European Union as part of a reciprocal agreement to resolve a trade spat with Washington. Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Thursday, July 5, that such a deal would need to be offered to other countries that export cars to the EU, too, if it is to conform with World Trade Organization rules. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German exports rose in May, suggesting trade disputes in recent days with the United States haven’t yet damaged Europe’s biggest economy.

The national statistics agency said Monday that exports rose by 1.8 percent over April. Compared with a year earlier, exports were down 1.3 percent.

Analyst Carsten Brzeski at ING said a recent weakening of the euro currency’s exchange rate should more than offset the negative effects of U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel. However, he added that “looking ahead and despite the very benign impact of trade tensions so far, a fully-fledged trade war would surely leave negative marks on the German economy.”

For the moment, “the hard data tells a different story.”