FRANKFURT (AP) — Manufacturing powerhouse Germany posted a record trade surplus in 2007, as exports rose even faster than imports. The new high was achieved despite disappointing data for December.
Both exports and imports reached their highest levels ever last year, the Federal Statistics Office said Monday, although in December the trade surplus nearly halved.
In 2007, the trade surplus was euro198.8 billion (US$288.5 billion), up from euro159.0 billion in 2006. Exports in 2007 rose 8.5 percent to euro969.1 billion (US$1.4 billion), while imports amounted to euro770.4 billion (US$1.12 billion), a 5.0 percent rise over 2006.
The European Union was the destination for euro627.6 billion (US$910.7 billion) of German exports, while euro341.5 billion (US$495.6 billion) to countries outside the E.U.
Out of total imports, euro502.6 billion (US$729.3 billion) came from the E.U., with the the rest from countries outside the trading bloc, the statistics office said.
Germany's manufacturing exports, including automobiles and industrial equipment, have helped power an economic recovery and a fall in unemployment.
The European economy continues to grow even as some observers warn that a recessesion may hit the U.S. — the world's largest economy — this year, precipitated in the part by the subprime mortgage lending crisis.