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Power Economy

DW staff / DPA (jen)February 22, 2007

Germany's budget deficit for 2006 was just 1.7 percent, powered by exports and improved consumption. The country met euro-zone stability requirements for the first time five years.

Better than expected: Germany's budget deficitImage: Fotomontage/DW

The economy ended 2006 on a solid note, with data released showing fourth-quarter growth coming in at a real 0.9 per cent and the nation's budget deficit shrinking last year more than expected.

The statistics office said Germany's budget deficit, at 1.7 percent of GDP, was lower than the predicted 2 percent. It was the first time in five years that Europe's biggest economy has met the strict 3-per-cent deficit rule for euro member states.

Exports, consumption are higher

Powered by a robust export performance and a pickup in private consumption, the healthy fourth-quarter economic growth rate helped to underpin Germany's stronger than forecast 2.7 percent expansion rate in 2006.