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German trade surplus dips in Dec., still manages to hit full-year record

FRANKFURT -- Germany's trade surplus narrowed slightly in December, as export momentum tailed off at the year-end, but Europe's biggest economy notched up a record surplus for the whole year, data showed Friday.

In seasonally adjusted terms, Germany exported goods worth 92.5 billion euros (US$126 billion) in December, down from 93.3 billion euros in November, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.

Imports fell less steeply to 74.0 billion euros from 74.4 billion euros.

That meant the seasonally adjusted trade surplus — the balance between imports and exports — decreased to 18.5 billion euros in December from 18.9 billion euros in November.

In unadjusted terms, the trade surplus also declined, to 14.2 billion euros in December from 19.1 billion euros in November, as exports fell faster than imports, Destatis said.

Taking the year as a whole, however, the German trade surplus soared to a record 198.9 billion euros — the highest ever since foreign trade data were collected — from 189.8 billion euros in 2012.

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