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German trade surplus widens unexpectedly in December

BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Germany’s trade balance widened unexpectedly in December, when a surprise growth in imports was exceeded by a still greater surprise in export volumes, the Federal Statistics Office said on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted exports rose 1.5 percent month-on-month - up from a 0.4 percent fall in the previous month, and confounding forecasts of 0.2 percent growth - while imports rose 1.2 percent, compared to a 1.6 percent decline the previous month.

That meant the trade surplus widened to 19.4 billion euros from 18.4 billion euros the month before.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Thomas Seythal

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