Germany grows record 3.6% in 2010: official estimate

12th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The German economy posted record growth of 3.6 percent last year, provisional figures released Wednesday by the national statistics office showed, while the deficit grew to 3.5 percent.

The economy, Europe's biggest, had contracted by 4.7 percent in 2009 during Germany' worst post-war recession, before rebounding to post the strongest growth since its reunification in October 1990.

"We grew by twice the European Union average," Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle noted in a statement.

It added that the number of employed workers in Germany has climbed to an all-time high of 40.5 million people.

Meanwhile, the public deficit also rose, to 3.5 percent of output, in part owing to strong stimulus measures taken to battle the recession.

Berlin ended the year with a deficit of 88.57 billion euros ($115 billion), the Destatis office said, surpassing the European Union ceiling of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2009, Germany posted a public deficit right at 3.0 percent of GDP, following a slight surplus the previous year.

In October, German officials said they were confident of getting back below the EU threshold this year, but did not give a forecast figure.

Leading economic research institutes have said it could fall to 2.7 percent however, as Germany aims for an essentially balanced budget by 2016.

The country has benefited from a rebound in global trade that has raised tax revenues while falling unemployment has reduced the need for some public spending.

Officials have also launched an austerity plan aimed at realising savings of 80 billion euros by 2014.

© 2011 AFP

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