Germany's exports rebounded at a faster-than-expected pace in December, exceeding expectations, and imports followed suit, figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Friday.
Exports rose a calendar and seasonally-adjusted 1.5 percent from November, when they declined 0.3 percent. Economists had expected 0.5 percent growth.
The pace of growth was the fastest since May's 1.6 percent gain.
Imports climbed 1.2 percent month-on-month, recovering from a 1.3 percent slump in November. Economists had forecast 0.4 percent growth.
The non-adjusted trade surplus fell sharply to EUR 13.9 billion from EUR 20.4 billion in November. Economists were looking for a surplus of EUR 17.3 billion.
The statistical office also reported that the current account surplus fell to EUR 21 billion in December from EUR 21.6 billion in November.
For full year 2018, exports rose 3 percent and imports grew 5.7 percent, and their values exceeded their record highs. The trade surplus fell to EUR 227.8 billion from EUR 247.9 billion in 2017.
In 2018, the current account surplus dropped to EUR 249.1 billion from EUR 261.2 billion a year ago.