Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Germany’s Economy Grew 3.6% Last Year

From The International Herald Tribune:

Germany's Economy Grew 3.6% Last Year

Germany's economy rebounded last year at its fastest pace since reunification but consumer spending stayed modest, leaving analysts and other euro zone countries hoping a more balanced recovery would take hold this year.

Gross domestic product in Germany grew 3.6 percent, preliminary Federal Statistics Office data showed on Wednesday, bouncing back from a 4.7 percent slump — its steepest since World War II — in 2009. The figure matched the midrange forecast in a Reuters poll of 22 economists.

The economy minister, Rainer Brüderle, talked up the country's performance in the last 12 months, saying the economy, Europe's largest, had grown twice as fast as the average across the region.

Separate data showing that industrial output in the euro zone grew twice as fast as expected in November offered a glimmer of hope the rest of the euro zone might soon catch up

But a 0.5 percent increase in consumption by German households provided little sign of the strong upturn in consumer spending that struggling economies are hoping for as they look to increase their exports.

There have been signs in recent months of such a rebalancing in the German economy, with a rise in imports helping narrow its trade surplus in November.

But in 2010 overall, the economy relied more for growth on traditionally strong corporate investment.

Gerd Hassel from BHF Bank said that private consumption was still relatively weak.

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