Germany's trade surplus returned to growth in November despite a fall in exports, official figures showed on Tuesday.
The trade surplus in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, rose to 17.0 billion euros ($22.3 billion) for the month compared to 15.7 billion euros in October, the national statistics office Destatis said.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the figure was 14.6 billion euros which was below forecasts of 15.1 billion euros by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Germany exported goods worth 94.1 billion euros in November, falling from 98.4 billion a month earlier.
But Destatis noted that exports remained at the same level as a year earlier driven by exports to countries outside the European Union, which rose by 5.6 percent while exports to other areas, notably the euro area, fell sharply.
Exports to the crisis-hit eurozone dropped by 5.7 percent in November compared to the same month a year earlier.
Imports, on the other hand, dropped in November to 77.1 billion euros from 82.7 billion euros a month earlier, the office said.
From January to November 2012, Germany exported goods worth just over 1.0 trillion euros while imports came to 842.2 billion euros.