Germany narrowly escapes recession but growth fragile | Business News


Germany has bucked expectations and narrowly avoided a widely-feared recession but growth remains weak, latest figures show.

Europe’s biggest economy unexpectedly expanded by 0.1% in the third quarter, driven by strong consumer spending.

Analysts had expected a 0.1% contraction.

But the Federal Statistical Office revised down the GDP figure the second quarter to a 0.2% contraction, greater than the 0.1% decline previously reported.

On the year, the economy grew by 0.5% for the period from July to September, following a 0.3% expansion for April to June.

Household spending was higher than in the second quarter and the state also increased spending, the statistics office said, adding that construction also supported growth.

The country’s economy minister Peter Altmaier said: “We do not have a technical recession, but the growth
numbers are still too weak.”

The German government’s independent panel of economic advisers said last week there was no sign of a “broad, deep recession” or current need for a stimulus plan.

While exports edged up, imports remained at about the level of the previous quarter, the office said, suggesting overall trade had a positive impact on the economy.

Services companies and the jobs market have held up well in Germany, but the industrial sector, including car manufacturing, has seen declines in the face of trade tensions.

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