Import growth outpaces exports in Germany, narrowing surplus

Official statistics show German import growth outpaced that of exports in April, narrowing the trade surplus for Europe's largest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office reported Friday that April exports rose 0.9 percent to 106.3 billion euros ($119 billion) over March, while imports rose 1.2 percent to 86.6 billion euros, according to figures adjusted for seasonal and calendar variations.

That brought the adjusted surplus down to 19.8 billion euros, from 19.9 billion euros the previous month.

In unadjusted terms, exports declined 2.9 percent over April 2016 while imports increased by 5.4 percent for a surplus of 18.1 billion euros compared with 25.3 billion euros a year ago.

Germany's trade surplus has been widely criticized by other countries, which accuse Berlin of not doing enough to spur domestic demand for foreign goods.