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Business

German third-quarter growth held back by slowing exports

The German economy has not been able to keep up the momentum it had in mid-2013. Fresh data revealed the nation's gross domestic product grew only modestly in the third quarter because of slowing exports.

The German economy expanded by only 0.3 percent quarter-on-quarter between July and September, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Friday, down from 0.7 percent growth in the three previous months.

"Positive contributions in the third quarter were made exclusively by domestic demand," the office announced, also mentioning a 0.5 percent gain in investment in machinery and equipment.

Paradoxically, growth was hampered primarily by slowing exports at a time when Germany was being heavily criticized by the US and some European partners for its huge trade imbalance.

German exports under fire

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Eurozone countries record weak 3rd quarter growth

Just recently, the EU executive in Brussels had announced that it would look into what impact German exports and a perceived lack in domestic demand in Europe's powerhouse had on fellow economies on the Continent and the global economy in general.

Third-quarter exports rose by only 0.1 percent, with marker experts maintaining that existing trade imbalances could be rectified midterm.

"I take it that imports will increase faster than exports and that would be good news for Europe," Berenberg Bank economist Christian Schulz told the news agency Reuters.

He also noted that strong domestic investments were a sign of the European Central Bank's successful monetary policy, arguing that record-low interest rates had prompted both companies and private households to invest more.

hg/mkg (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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