Germany sees record budget surplus as criticism mounts

The country's federal, state and local governments together achieved an overall surplus in their public finances of 23.7 billion euros ($25 billion) last year, according to Germany's statistics office Destatis.

Germany sees record budget surplus as criticism mounts

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany notched up another record budget surplus in 2016, official data showed Thursday, as calls mount for Europe's top economy to loosen its purse strings and invest more.

"In absolute terms, this was the highest surplus achieved by general government since German reunification," it said in a statement.

The announcement comes just a day after the European Commission urged Germany to ramp up spending, complaining that its surpluses were creating "economic and political distortions" for the euro area.

Germany's swollen purse has long been a subject of controversy among EU peers who have pressed the country to invest more to push up consumption and imports, and in doing so help bolster the eurozone recovery.

Germany has in particular come under fire over its massive trade surplus, which grew to a record 253 billion euros in 2016, drawing fierce criticism from the new US administration.

US President Donald Trump's top trade advisor Peter Navarro last month accused Berlin of using a weak euro to gain a trade advantage, while Trump himself has promised tough action to restore the balance.

"The German economy is clearly somewhat imbalanced," Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics told AFP.

"The only real way for Germany to address this is through stimulus that would boost domestic spending. But these budget surpluses are implying that isn't happening."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Şubat 2017, 17:42
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