Strong domestic sales and high employment are boosting German tax revenues. German exporters are also doing well.
Trade between Russia and Germany has increased by about a quarter in the past 12 months. The surge came despite sanctions which the European Union imposed against Moscow for its alleged role in the Ukraine conflict.
Germany's statistics office has reported a renewed annual rise in the country's exports and imports. Europe's powerhouse managed to slightly narrow its trade surplus which has been in the firing line for many years.
The number of illegal workers in Germany is increasing and while some employers gain in lower wages, the government loses more in lost tax revenues. A crackdown started this week in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
German business confidence has dropped off a little above expectations. But Europe's biggest economy was still set for solid growth in the first quarter of the year, analysts from the ifo research institute insisted.
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