By Marcus Leach

Germany has reported record figures for export after the growing global economy increased demand for their products and services.

The export figures for March were the highest recorded since records began, with total exports reaching €98.3 billion (£87 billion), a rise of 7.3% on February's figures.

Germany, the world's second largest exporter, also saw record figures for imports, up 3.1% to €79.4 billion. Data began in 1950, and both sets of figures are the highest ever recorded.

With only China exporting more than Germany the latest figures were much higher than market expectations.

"Germany is on the verge of a 'golden decade'," said Christian Schulz of Berenberg Bank.

Fellow analyst, Carsten Brzeski at ING, said the German economy was now "cruising along smoothly".

These figures further highlight a split within Europe, with countries such as Germany and France continuing to see growth in their economies, while the likes of Portugal and Greece continue to struggle with soaring national debts.