In November Germany Turns Almost a Record Trade Surplus

In November Germany Turns Almost a Record Trade SurplusOfficial figures showed on Wednesday that Germany's trade surplus grew close to a record in November, in a development that may add potential fuel to critics' concerns that the country is not spending enough to help out its struggling partners in the eurozone.

The figures could well form the background to talks later between U. S.  Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.  Lew has articulated his opinion that Germany should be looking to get its current account more into balance as a means of shoring up the eurozone's strugglers.

Figures released on Wednesday from the Federal Statistical Office showed Germany posting a surplus in November of 17.8 billion euros ($24.2 billion), which is an increase from a downwardly revised 16.7 billion the previous month. An additional comprehensive look showed exports grew by 0.3 percent as compared to the previous month to 93.2 billion euros when adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, while imports declined 1.1 percent to 75.4 billion euros.

Europe's biggest economy, Germany,  has for some time now been criticized of depending too heavily on its exports and not importing enough to increase other economies in what is now the 18-country eurozone following Latvia's adoption of the single currency at the start of the year.

The United States, has urged Germany to spend more whereas the International Monetary Fund has said a smaller surplus is the only way to even out the imbalances that plague the eurozone.