German imports, exports drop in Feb

German exports and imports both decreased in February compared with the previous month, official data showed on Tuesday, a sign that the euro crisis is weighing on the recovery of the largest European economy.

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said in a report that, upon calendar and seasonal adjustment, exports decreased by 1.5 percent and imports by 3.8 percent compared with January. On a year-on-year basis, German exports decreased by 2.8 percent and imports by 5.9 percent.

Exports marked the first drop since November, while imports fell for the third time in the last four months. In calendar and seasonally adjusted terms, the foreign trade balance recorded a surplus of 17.1 billion euros (22.3 billion U.S. dollars) in February, the Destatis said, as the drop in exports was offset by a sharper fall in imports.

Weak eurozone demand due to the debt crisis means export-driven German economy has to rely more on domestic demand and robust non-eurozone economies in order to achieve recovery and growth.

German industrial production increased in February, official data showed on Monday, a sign that Europe's largest economy is growing again after shrinking 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012.

Despite the difficulties in many European partner countries, the German economy is still in good shape and is expected to avoid recession and recover this year. The German central bank has predicted a 0.4-percent growth of the economy in 2013.