BERLIN Germany's trade surplus hit its second highest level in more than 60 years in 2012, official data showed on Friday, pointing to the underlying strength of Europe's largest economy even as many of its euro zone peers lingered in recession.
Europe's economic powerhouse posted a trade surplus of 188.1 billion euros last year, its second highest since records began in 1950.
German exports in December increased by 0.3 percent in seasonally adjusted terms and imports fell by 1.3 percent, widening the trade surplus to 16.8 billion euros from an upwardly revised 15.6 billion in November.
Economists had expected imports to increase by 1.4 percent and shipments abroad to be up 1.3 percent, according to a Reuters poll.
The consensus forecast in a Reuters poll was for the trade surplus to hit 14.8 billion euros.
(Reporting by Berlin bureau)