German economy grows by 0.2 percent in first quarter: statistics

12th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The German economy, Europe's biggest, grew by a modest 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from the previous three month period, official statistics showed on Wednesday, exceeding forecasts for zero growth.

Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected the economy to stagnate, as it had in the last quarter of 2009 according to a first estimate by the national statistics office.

The Destatis office revised that figure higher however, and said economic activity had also expanded by 0.2 percent in the last three months of the year.

That meant that the full-year 2009 contraction came to 4.9 percent, rather than 5.0 percent as reported earlier.

"The German economy is slow in gaining momentum," the Destatis office noted in a statement however, following three winter months marked by particularly cold and snowy weather that hampered construction activity.

Exports and investments in industrial equipment had nonetheless provided engines for growth.

And data for industrial orders and production in March have pointed to a solid rebound in that key sector.

Germany suffered its worst post-war recession in 2009, but demand for German goods has picked up amid brighter prospects for the global economy.

The government has forecast growth of 1.4 percent this year.

© 2010 AFP

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