Economic activity in Germany rose more than expected in the final three months of 2013. According to preliminary fourth-quarter growth figures, the expansion was led by stronger exports and higher corporate investment.
German gross domestic product (GDP) edged up by 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2013, rising from 0.3 percent in the previous three-month period, according to preliminary figures released by the country's statistics office, Destatis, on Friday.
In the quarter, Europe's biggest economy grew more strongly than predicted by Destatis in a January estimate, which had forecast a rise of just 0.25 percent.
The growth was primarily driven by a surplus in foreign trade, Destatis said, while domestic business activity remained weak.
“According to preliminary calculations, exports grew much more strongly than imports. By contrast, the signals from domestic demand were more mixed,” the German statisticians said in a statement.
Public spending had stagnated in the quarter and consumer spending was down slightly, Destatis noted. But corporate investments in construction and equipment rose significantly.
The German statistics office also confirmed a preliminary estimate from January which showed that full-year 2013 growth came in at 0.4 percent. This was considerably lower than in 2011 and 2012 in which annual GDP expanded by 3.3 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
The most recent GDP figure, however, appears to indicate that the German economy is gathering speed again. For 2014, the government hopes for a rate of expansion of 1.8 percent.
uhe/jm (dpa, AFP, Reuters)