Germany's trade surplus contracted slightly in January, dragged down by falling exports, official data showed on Thursday.
The trade surplus is a key gauge of an economy's comparative strength and in recent months has highlighted the robustness of Europe's biggest economy amid the current global economic uncertainties.
German exports declined by 0.5 percent to 98.2 billion euros ($108 billion) in seasonally-adjusted terms in January, the federal statistics office calculated.
At the same time, imports -- a measure of domestic demand -- increased by 1.2 percent to 79.4 billion euros.
That meant that the trade surplus -- the balance between exports and imports -- shrank slightly to 18.8 billion euros in January from 20.3 billion euros in December, the statisticians said.
A similar trend was seen on a 12-month basis, with exports falling by 1.4 percent in January compared with a year earlier, while imports grew by 1.5 percent.
In raw or unadjusted terms, the trade surplus contracted to 13.6 billion euros in January, compared with a surplus of 19 billion euros in December and a surplus of 15.9 billion euros in January 2015.
Exports to the European Union expanded by 1.0 percent on a 12-month basis, Destatis calculated.
But exports to the eurozone slipped fractionally by 0.1 percent and exports to countries outside Europe were down by 5.0 percent year-on-year, Destatis said.
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