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German trade surplus widens as weak euro aids exports to US, elsewhere outside eurozone

BERLIN – Germany’s trade surplus hit a record high in July, as a weaker euro helped bolster exports to countries outside the eurozone, particularly the U.S.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that exports rose 2.4 per cent to 103.4 billion euros ($115.25 billion), adjusted for calendar and seasonal variations. Imports rose 2.2 per cent to 80.6 billion euros for a 22.8 billion euro surplus.

That put the trade surplus at 25 billion euros, a record high.

German exports rose by an annual 6 per cent to countries inside the European Union, and 5.5 per cent to the countries using the euro currency. Exports to markets outside the EU surged 6.4 per cent.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski says a weak euro has helped boost exports, especially to the U.S., which became Germany’s single most important trading partner in the first half.