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Business

Germany grows 0.7 percent in the first quarter

Europe's strongest economy has boosted its output more than expected in the first three months of the year, driven by robust domestic demand and accelerating investment in construction and capital goods.

Between January and March, the German economy grew 0.7 percent, according to fresh data released by the country's statistics office, Destatis, on Friday.

The rise was stronger than expected by analysts and came after a comparatively weak final quarter in 2015 in which gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.3 percent.

German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel described the country's rate of expansion as a "good footing" for the whole year.

"Industry posted an increase in production, employment is noticeably rising, and higher income of private households is leading to higher private spending," Gabriel said, adding that the government's task now was to use the growth momentum to "invest in education, modern infrastructure and innovation."

Germany more than doubled its economic growth rate in the first quarter of 2016 as higher state and household spending, as well as rising investment in construction and capital goods offset a drag from foreign trade, the data showed.

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Growth slowdown in Germany?

uhe/kd (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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