Mixed signals from the German economy Exports rose unexpectedly in March, raising hopes that a slowdown in Europe's largest economy will not significantly dent growth in the first quarter Seasonally adjusted exports rose by 1.5 percent on the month while imports were up 0.4 percent.
Last month, the government slashed its growth forecast for this year to 0.5 percent.
A slowing world economy and Brexit, are all leaving their mark on export-dependent manufacturers.
While domestic factors are also at play Particularly in the car industry, which is struggling to adjust to stricter emission rules.
The biggest headwind though remains the trade disputes between the U.S. and both China and the EU And it's not limited to Germany... (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, BRUNO LE MAIRE, SAYING: "There is no greater threat to world growth.
A trade war will destroy jobs in France and in Europe, and in this area too Europe has to unite to resist that." There was brighter data out of Britain too Its economy got a sharp one-off boost in the first three months of the year as manufacturers rushed to deliver orders before the Brexit that never came.
GDP grew at a quarterly rate of 0.5 percent Year-on-year GDP growth picked up to 1.8 percent in early 2019 from 1.4 percent in the last three months of 2018 Brexit has now been delayed until October 31st unless there is an early EU withdrawal agreement.
The Bank of England expects growth to slow to 0.2 percent during the current quarter as the one-off boost from stock-building fades and businesses continue to hold off from investment as uncertainty lingers.