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Business

German trade surplus soars to new record

Germany's controversial trade surplus reached a new high in 2014. Economists say the trend is continuing this year, as the weaker euro fuels Germany's export machine, but not everyone is happy about it.

Germany's trade surplus hit a record level of 216.9 billion euros ($234 billion) last year, the Federal Statistics Office reported Monday in presenting slightly revised figures. It added Europe's largest economy managed to exceed the 195.3 billion euro trade surplus recorded in 2007, the previous high point.

The Munich-based Ifo research institute says Germany has the largest trade surplus in the world, followed by China and Saudi Arabia.

The surge confirms the popularity of German automobiles and engineering products in export markets, in spite of weaker economies in some European countries and sanctions limiting trade with Russia.

Economists expect Germany's trade surplus to continue to grow this year, as a cheaper euro fuels the country's turbo charged exporting sector.

Germany frequently comes under fire for selling far more goods to other than it buys in return. The EU Commission considers trade surpluses of more than 6 percent of GDP a threat to stability. Germany's surplus has been above this level for years, and is currently at 7.4 percent of GDP.

kc/hg (Reuters, dpa)

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