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Exclusive: German trade surplus with U.S. declined in 2018 but was still almost 49 billion euros

Reuters  |  BERLIN 

By Rene Wagner

(Reuters) - Germany's trade surplus with the United States, a frequent source of tension with U.S. Donald Trump, declined last year but nonetheless remained at around 49 billion euros ($55.37 billion), data seen by showed on Monday.

Trump has frequently criticised the large trade surplus that Europe's biggest economy has with the and has threatened to put tariffs on German cars in return.

But German has questioned Trump's analysis, saying that trade surpluses were calculated in an old-fashioned way and that the runs a large account surplus with if services are included in the total.

In June, Merkel suggested that existing international should be updated.

Preliminary calculations from the showed that German exports to the rose by 1.5 percent to a record high of 113.5 billion euros in 2018.

That meant the United States remained the biggest buyer of "Made in Germany" goods -- ahead of France, which purchased 105 billion euros' worth, and China, which bought 93 billion euros' worth.

German imports from the United States increased by around 4 percent to 64.6 billion euros.

That meant the surplus with the United States was around a billion euros smaller than in 2017. But it was still the largest surplus has with any country and accounts for more than a fifth of Germany's overall export surplus of around 228 billion euros in 2018.

remained Germany's most important trade partner in 2018, with the two countries exchanging goods worth almost 200 billion euros.

German exports to increased by around 8 percent to 93 billion euros last year while imports from rose by around 4 percent to 106 billion euros.

($1 = 0.8850 euros)

(Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Catherine Evans)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 18:34 IST