German exports rose for the fourth consecutive month in November as trade picked up especially to European Union countries outside the euro zone.

The figures were an indication that Europe's largest economy is benefiting from an early pickup in the global outlook.

Data from the Federal Statistics Office showed today that seasonally-adjusted exports rose by 0.3% on the month, largely in line with the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a 0.35% increase.  

Imports dropped by 1.1% in November, missing the consensus estimate for a 0.3% increase.

The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus widened to €17.8 billion from a revised €16.7 billion in October. It had been forecast to widen to €18 billion.

Germany has come under come under international pressure for relying too heavily on foreign trade, a criticism likely to be reiterated when US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew meets German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin today.