Berlin - German imports surged in June at their fastest rate in three and half years as domestic demand gained momentum and a pickup in the European economy powered exports, data released Friday showed.

While monthly imports rebounded by 4.5 per cent from a 3.4-per-cent slump in May, exports climbed by a more-than-forecast 0.9 per cent, the Federal Statistics Office said.

This compared with a 1.1 per cent decline in exports in May.

Analysts surveyed by dpa-AFX had forecast a 1-per-cent gain in imports and a 0.8-per-cent rise in exports. - Sapa-dpa