Germany’s 19.4 billion-euro ($21.4 billion) budget surplus last year was the highest since reunification in 1990 in absolute terms, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble’s debt-cutting defends an election pledge from Chancellor Angela Merkel to balance the budget and provides a timely cushion as spending to cope with the influx of refugees increases. The arrivals will increase public spending in Europe’s largest economy by 25 billion euros to 55 billion euros a year, according to December calculations by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
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