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German trade surplus shrinks by 0.9 billion euros in March as exports fall

BERLIN -- Germany's trade surplus shrank in March from the February level after exports again fell, data showed Friday.

Europe's top economy posted a trade surplus of 14.8 billion euros (US$20.5 billion), down from the slightly revised figure for February of 15.7 billion euros, the official data showed.

The figure, which allows for seasonal blips, was below forecasts of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

German exports fell 1.8 percent in March to 91.6 billion euros, while imports slipped 0.9 percent compared to the previous month, to 76.7 billion euros, the federal statistics office Destatis said.

In unadjusted terms, the German trade surplus stood at 16.4 billion euros, a slight increase from the February level.

Germany's exports to other eurozone countries nudged up 0.1 percent in March compared to the same month a year earlier, but jumped 10.4 percent to other EU countries.

Germany has come under fire for its large trade surplus, with critics arguing that its economic might comes at the expense of the eurozone's weaker members.

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