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Another record year for German exporters

The global growth slowdown hasn’t prevented German exporters from shipping a record volume of goods abroad over the past 12 months. Imports also reached a new high in 2016, but the increase was less pronounced.Companies in Europe’s largest economy exported goods worth 1.21 trillion euros ($1.29 trillion) throughout 2016, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported Thursday on the basis of preliminary calculations.

Shipments abroad thus rose by 1.2 percent, marking the third consecutive year of record exports.

Destatis added that imports too reached a new all-time annual high at 954.6 billion euros, a 0.6-percent increase on the year.

Not everyone is amused

The Wiesbaden-based statistics office reported the highest ever trade surplus at 252.9 billion euros, exceeding the 244.3-billion-euro surplus logged in 2015.

The government in Berlin has repeatedly portrayed Germany’s export-oriented economy as a success story.

But Europe’s powerhouse has also been facing increased criticism by other industrialized nations over its policy.

In recent weeks, Berlin has found itself fending off verbal attacks by US President Donald Trump over its powerful export performance. There have been accusations that Germany might also use its influence at the ECB to keep the euro cheap and thus help German exporters be more competitive.

hg/jd (dpa, AFP)

Topics: exporters German

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