German imports hit all time high in November

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German imports hit a record high in November, slashing the national trade surplus as prices for oil and other commodities climbed amid the global recovery, official data showed on Friday.

Imports gained an annualised 33.3 percent to 75.1 billion euros (97.5 billion dollars), while exports rose by 21.7 percent to 88 billion euros, the national statistics office said.

The Destatis office added that the level for imports was the highest since post-war German records were first compiled in 1950, while exports reached their highest level since October 2008, just after the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Germany's trade surplus thus fell to 12.9 billion euros from 16 billion euros in November 2009, well below an average analyst forecast of 15 billion euros compiled by Dow Jones Newswires.

This week, oil prices reached two-year highs of more than 90 dollars a barrel amid confidence in increased global demand after the US economy showed more signs of recovery.

On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that rising oil prices were entering "a dangerous zone" that could imperil a fragile economic recovery in developed nations this year.

In the 11 months from January 2010 to November however, Germany posted a surplus of 141.2 billion euros, with its export-oriented industrial sector reaping handsome gains from the pick-up in global trade.

© 2011 AFP

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