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Germany's trade surplus narrows

Germany's trade surplus narrowed in January, as an increase in exports from Europe's largest economy was more than offset by a rise in imports.

The Federal Statistical Office reported today that exports rose 2.2% in January from the previous month to 94.5 billion euros (£78.6 billion). The figures were adjusted for seasonal and calendar effects.

Meanwhile, imports rose 4.1% to 77.3 billion euros (£64.3 billion).

As a result, the surplus fell to 17.2 billion euros (£14.3 billion) from 18.3 billion euros (£15.2 billion) in December.

Germany has been criticised for relying too much on exports and has not been importing enough to boost economies in Europe.

The statistics office says that, compared with January 2013, exports to other nations using the euro currency rose 3.2% in January, while imports from those countries rose 4%.

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