BERLIN Feb 7 German exports unexpectedly fell on the month in December, breaking a run of four consecutive gains and dropping more than imports, narrowing the trade surplus, data showed on Friday.
Data from the Federal Statistics Office showed seasonally-adjusted exports were down 0.9 percent compared with the forecast in a Reuters poll for them to inch up 0.8 percent. This came after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent rise in November.
Figures for the full year showed shipments abroad down 0.2 percent, reflecting the weaker global economy in 2013. It was the first full-year drop in exports since the 2009 recession.
Imports also dropped unexpectedly in December, by 0.6 percent. They were forecast to rise 1.2 percent. On the year, imports dropped 1.2 percent, resulting in a widening of the trade balance to 198.9, the highest on record.
The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus narrowed to 18.5 billion euros from a revised 18.9 billion in November.
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