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German Economy Propelled by Booming Exports in Fourth Quarter

14 Feb 2018 7:52 am
   By Nina Adam 

FRANKFURT--Economic activity in Germany eased a little toward the end of 2017, but the economy remained on its path of solid growth, owing to booming global demand for premium engineering goods.

In the fourth quarter, gross domestic product--the broadest measure of goods and services produced in an economy--grew at a quarterly clip of 0.6%, or an annualized rate of 2.5%, the Federal Statistical Office said Wednesday. The outcome matched economists' forecasts.

"Exports picked up strongly," the statistics body said in a preliminary publication.

Investments in machinery and equipment also increased slightly.

In the third quarter, Europe's largest economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.9%, which marks a revision from an earlier estimate of 3.3%.

The nation's economy has remained strong and its jobs market buoyant, despite a rising euro eroding the price-competitiveness of German exports, and an inconclusive election result in the fall of 2017 causing many months of intense political wrangling.

"These days, Germany clearly shows two different faces: the well-known one of a strong and high-performing economy and the unknown one of fragile politics," said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING.

Yet most economists and businesses remain upbeat, and the government in late January lifted its growth forecast for 2018 to 2.4% from 1.9%.

"The German economy is in a very good shape," said Brigitte Zypries, the economics minister. "The strong rise in...employment last year is particularly satisfying."

Write to Nina Adam at nina.adam@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 14, 2018 02:52 ET (07:52 GMT)

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