News summary: Germans defend exports

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm •  Published: January 8, 2014

THE GERMAN CONSUMER: U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, visiting Berlin, pressed for Europe's biggest economy to do more to fuel its domestic demand. Lew said such policies would be good for the German and global economies.

GERMANY'S RESPONSE: Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed criticism of his country's export strength, saying that Germany's economic growth has been driven mainly by domestic demand recently.

BACK STORY: Germany has long faced criticism from the U.S. and others for relying too heavily on its exports and, some contend, not importing enough to boost other economies in Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel's weeks-old government is planning to introduce a national minimum wage and invest in infrastructure. But it isn't changing its approach to Europe's debt crisis, which prioritizes cutting budget deficits.