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Business

Germany posts budget surplus on higher growth

In the first half of 2013, Germany accumulated a budget surplus on the back of a strong economic recovery. As growth rebounds following the stagnation of the winter months, tax revenue has soared.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany expanded by a solid 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, rising out of contraction and stagnation during the two winter quarters, according to the latest figures released Friday by the state statistics agency, Destatis.

In the three months to the end of June, economic expansion in Europe's largest economy was driven primarily by a 2.6 percent surge in the construction sector, which picked up after a protracted winter.

Moreover, consumer spending rose 0.5 percent and government spending by 0.6 percent, the Destatis data showed. The solid economic rebound in the second quarter also encouraged business to invest more in new machinery, which boosted corporate investments by 0.9 percent.

Foreign trade, however, contributed only 0.2 percent to GDP growth, providing further evidence that global demand remained sluggish between April and June.

Budget back in the black

The upswing in the German economy has helped the government to improve its bottom line. Destatis budget data, also released on Friday, showed a surplus of 8.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) for the first six months of 2013.

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German 2013/2014 budget plan

The performance is better than in the same period of 2012, when Germany posted its first half-yearly surplus in over three years.

The result came mainly on a strong rise in tax income, which grew 3.8 percent on the previous year to a total of 321.4 billion euros.

Unlike most of its eurozone partners, Germany is currently blessed with low unemployment and robust economic growth, which have substantially improved state finances over the past two years.

uhe/pfd (AP, dpa)

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