CATBIRD SEAT: Germany's trade surplus widened to a near record in November, official figures showed, in a development that may add fuel to the concerns from some corners that the country is not spending enough to help out its struggling partners in Europe.
THE NUMBERS: Figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed Germany posting a surplus in November of 17.8 billion euros ($24.2 billion), up from a downwardly revised 16.7 billion the previous month. A more detailed look showed exports rose 0.3 percent compared with the previous month to 93.2 billion euros when adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, while imports declined 1.1 percent to 75.4 billion euros.
REALLOCATE: The report could set the tone during upcoming discussions between U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Lew has voiced his opinion that Germany should be looking to get its current account more into balance as a means of shoring up Europe's stragglers.