Germany posted a record current-account surplus in 2014, setting the stage for renewed international calls to address its economic imbalances. The surplus rose to €215.3 billion (HK$1.89 trillion) last year from €189.2 billion in 2013, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said. That is equal to 7.4 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and exceeds the €176.7 billion China logged. The data, which comes as finance chiefs of the world's leading industrialised and emerging economies meet in Istanbul, is likely to rekindle criticism of Germany's economic policy by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. At the same time, the country's exporters are in for a further boost as large-scale asset purchases by the European Central Bank will weaken the euro, increasing competitiveness in foreign markets. "This is not a conscious beggar-thy-neighbour policy," said Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING-DiBa in Frankfurt. "Germany has the right product mix at the right time, and on top of that it is helped by the lower euro." The single currency depreciated 12 per cent against the US dollar in 2014 and fell below US$1.11 last month for the first time since September 2003. Germany's trade surplus was €217 billion in 2014, with exports rising 3.7 per cent from 2013 and imports increasing 2 per cent. In December, foreign sales jumped 3.4 per cent from the previous month, while purchases abroad dropped 0.8 per cent. Germany's export-driven economic model has come under the spotlight on several occasions in recent years. The US Treasury and the IMF have repeatedly rebuked the country for its reliance on foreign trade, while the European Commission started a probe in 2013 into whether Germany is breaching European Union guidelines. In the future, faster wage growth in recent years and rising internal demand point to a rebalancing of the economy. "Germany will have a positive current-account balance for the foreseeable future," the Bundesbank wrote in its January monthly report. "Nevertheless, the size of the surplus should fall in the medium term."