February 8, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 10 months ago

Germany's trade surplus shrinks in 2017

BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Germany’s trade surplus fell in 2017 for the first time in eight years, data showed on Thursday, in a further sign that vibrant domestic demand is sucking in more imports and slowly re-balancing the country’s export-oriented economy.

The seasonally unadjusted trade surplus went down to 244.9 billion euros ($300.86 billion) from the record-high of 248.9 billion euros in the previous year, according to the Federal Statistics Office.

The wider current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, edged down to 257.1 billion euros from 259.3 billion euros in the previous year.

In December alone, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 0.3 percent on the month while imports rose by 1.4 percent, the data from the statistics office showed.

The exports figure beat expectations for a 1.0 percent fall while imports also came in stronger than the forecast for a 0.5 percent decrease.

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus in December narrowed to 21.4 billion euros. This was smaller than the Reuters consensus forecast for a surplus of 21.7 billion euros. ($1 = 0.8140 euros) (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel)

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