The German trade surplus hit a five-year high last year to reach its second-highest level ever on booming exports, official data showed on Friday.
Europe's biggest economy exported a record 1.097 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion) worth of goods in 2012, an increase of 3.4 percent from the previous year, the national statistics office Destatis said.
Imports, on the other hand, edged up by just 0.7 percent to 909.2 billion euros in the period from January to December.
That meant the trade surplus increased to 188.1 billion euros in 2012, its highest level since 2007 and the second-highest level since foreign trade statistics began in 1950, Destatis said in a statement.
In December alone, the German trade surplus expanded to 16.8 billion euros on a seasonally-adjusted basis from 15.6 billion euros in November as exports rose but imports declined, the statisticians calculated.