Frankfurt – Fired up by a recovery in the global economy, German exports grew last year at their fastest rate since 2011 to register the fourth record annual amount in a row.
German firms exported goods worth just under 1.28 trillion euros (1.57 trillion dollars) in 2017, an increase of 6.3 per cent on 2016, the Federal Statistical Office said.
Robust trade surpluses for years
The only year to register a higher increase in exports in recent times was 2011, when exports saw an annual rise of 11.5 per cent.
Imports climbed over the same period by 8.3 per cent to reach just over 1.03 trillion euros.
Germany's much criticized trade surplus - a bug bear especially of US President Donald Trump - shrank slightly to 244.9 billion euros in 2017 from 248.9 billion euros in 2016, a record high.
Germany has registered incredibly robust trade surpluses for years, drawing criticism from countries that rely heavily on imports, who say it has created a massive imbalance in global trade.
Those critical voices are unlikely to be silenced any time soon as the German Federal External Trade Federation BGA has predicted another record year for 2018.
The BGA predicts further export growth of 5 per cent this year to reach a value of 1.34 trillion euros, while imports are predicted to grow 7 per cent to 1.104 trillion euros.