09/02/2010 00:00 AST

The German foreign trade balance showed a surplus of EUR 136.1 billion in 2009, smaller than the EUR 178.3 billion in 2008, a report from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Tuesday. According to provisional results of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the current account surplus stood at EUR 119.4 billion in 2009, down from EUR 165.2 billion.

Exports in 2009 dropped 18.4% from the previous year to EUR 803.2 billion and imports slipped 17.2% to EUR 667.1 billion. The statistical office said this was the highest decline recorded in foreign trade in relation to both imports and exports since 1950.

In December, exports increased 3% on a monthly basis after rising 1.1% in November. At the same time, imports rose 4.5% versus November's 6.2% decline. Economists were expecting a 0.1% fall in exports and 3% increase in imports. The trade surplus in December fell to EUR 13.5 billion from EUR 17.2 billion in November. The expected surplus was EUR 15 billion.

At the same time, the current account surplus increased to EUR 20.6 billion from EUR 17.8 billion in the previous month. The surplus stood above the consensus forecast of EUR 19.1 billion.

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