Germany posts budget surplus for year's 1st half

Official data show that Germany posted a budget surplus for the first half of this year thanks to its strong labor market, even as other eurozone countries struggle with deficits.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday that Germany ran a surplus of €8.3 billion ($10.4 billion), or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product, between January and June. It said that was fueled by a surplus in the social insurance system.

Tax income has also been strong this year, helped by strong economic growth and wage increases.

Germany last posted a six-month surplus in the first half of 2008.

UniCredit economist Alexander Koch said the performance suggested Germany's full-year figure may be better than his forecast of a 0.5 percent deficit and "even a modest budget surplus appears increasingly likely."