In its semi-annual report to Congress on international economic policies, the U.S. Treasury took a surprising swipe at German economic policies, blaming them for hindering economic rebalancing in Europe.
"Germany has maintained a large current account surplus throughout the euro area financial crisis, and in 2012, Germany's nominal current account surplus was larger than that of China," the Treasury said.
"Germany's anaemic pace of domestic demand growth and dependence on exports have hampered rebalancing at a time when many other euro-area countries have been under severe pressure to curb demand and compress imports in order to promote adjustment."
"The net result has been a deflationary bias for the euro area as well as for the world economy," they added.
Compounding this, the report also elevated its remarks on Germany to a "key finding" - alongside its regular criticisms of the Chinese yuan being "significantly undervalued."
"I think this is a bit strange," told Tony Nash, vice president at IHS, to the BBC. "The eurozone has to get growth from somewhere and Germany is the most likely place for that to happen."
"And it is better for the eurozone to have a highly concentrated, efficient and skilled export powerhouse in Germany than not have any major engine of growth," he added.
Reuters noted that the heavy criticism also came at a time when German officials had openly chastising the U.S. for spying on them. Additionally, the German government also made pointed remarks regarding the recent U.S. government shutdown.
Nonetheless, Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, believed that the criticism was warranted, albeit unusual.
"You target Germany as a way to get at the euro area as a whole..Now is really the time to finger Germany" if the U.S. wants to have an impact on economic policies that are being negotiated by lawmakers there, told Kirkegaard to Bloomberg.
Germany's surplus grew to $238.5 billion in 2012 from $223.3 billion in 2011. This figure was the largest among the countries for which the World Bank has data.