The German trade surplus grew in November as foreign demand for German-made products remains surprisingly robust, despite the deepening eurozone debt crisis, official data showed on Monday.
Europe's biggest economy exported goods worth 90.7 billion euros ($115 billion) in seasonally-adjusted terms in November, 2.5 percent more than in October, the national statistics office Destatis said.
By contrast, imports declined 0.4 percent to 75.7 billion euros, so that the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus increased to 15 billion euros from 12.5 billion euros in October.
Taking the 11 months to November as a whole, German exports rose 12.1 percent over the year-earlier period to 976 billion euros, while imports were up 13.8 percent at 829.6 billion euros.
That meant the 11-month trade surplus increased by 2.9 percent to 146.4 billion euros.
The data "show that the demand for German products is amazingly robust," said Commerzbank economist Ulrike Rondorf.
Fears that exports could slump in line with a declining sentiment indicators across the globe and poor eurozone economic data "is not in sight yet," the economist said.
However, despite the gain in November, exports on average in October and November were 0.1 percent below the average for the third quarter, suggesting that "one of the main pillars of the German upswing is beginning to totter," she cautioned.
"Hardly any impetus is to be expected from foreign trade in the coming months too."
Natixis economist Peter Kaidusch agreed.
"The eurozone's biggest economy should hardly be able to decouple" from a global downturn.
Thomas Polleit at Barclays Capital Research similarly believed that following disappointing factory orders last week, there are "signs of weakening creeping into the data."