BERLIN, May 8 (Xinhua) -- German exports fell by 11.8 percent within a month to a total of 108.9 billion euros (117.9 billion U.S. dollars) in March, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Friday.
It was the "strongest month-on-month decline after calendar and seasonal adjustment since the beginning of the time series in August 1990," Destatis noted.
Compared to last year, exports declined by 7.9 percent while imports were down 4.5 percent year-on-year, amounting to 91.6 billion euros, according to Destatis.
"It is striking that imports were relatively resilient," Axel Lindner, deputy head of the department of macroeconomics at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), told Xinhua.
German exports to third countries within the European Union (EU) fell by 11 percent while imports from those countries decreased by 8 percent year-on-year. Destatis noted that the coronavirus pandemic had caused a "strong decrease in trade with the EU."
For the entire first quarter, German exports fell by 3.3 percent to 324.9 billion euros year-on-year and total imports fell by 2.9 percent to 273.1 billion euros.
"In Germany, restrictions by the government have affected production and daily life to a lesser extent than in the other large euro area countries such as France, Italy and Spain," said Lindner, adding that the contraction of exports was mainly due to a "slump of external demand." Enditem