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Business

Slowing exports weigh on German growth, eurozone more buoyant

Germany's economy expanded by just 0.3 percent in the first quarter, less than expected. Growth in the entire eurozone, meanwhile, was up 0.4 percent, boosted by France and Italy .

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with the previous three months. Analysts had expected growth of up to 0.9 percent.

Consumers remained the principal driver of growth as a low-interest environment makes saving unattractive and rising wages and record-low unemployment boost consumption. Public spending and investment also boosted GDP.

Exports, meanwhile, rose more slowly than imports, hampered by lackluster trading with key emerging economies like Russia and Brazil. But economists are confident that the German economy is robust.

"The upswing is in good shape, we expect solid growth in the coming quarters," Unicredit economist Martina von Terzi told the DPA news agency.

Andreas Scheuerle, economist at Dekabank agrees, saying that "the global economy will pick up and lead to more export activity, paired with continuing strong domestic demand," he old the Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, the eurozone's economy as a whole expanded by 0.4 percent, buoyed by encouraging growth in France and Italy.

ng/uhe (Reuters, dpa)

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