Germany exported €252.9 billion more than it imported in 2016, making it the largest German trade surplus in history.

Why it matters: In a world where demand for goods and services, and the jobs that result, are at a premium, countries that produce more than they consume are coming under fire.

While German officials have argued that it's German productivity that is to be credited with the surplus, and not malicious policy, Germany's critics are growing in number and power. Last week, Trump economic advisor Peter Navarro blamed the German surplus on an "undervalued" euro, while critics outside the administration have placed guilt on labor and safety-net policies that suppress wage growth and German consumption.

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