German growth likely minimal in final quarter of 2015 | News | DW | 29.01.2016
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German growth likely minimal in final quarter of 2015

Weak industrial production in Germany probably slowed down economic output in the final quarter of 2015, according to the country's Finance Ministry. A recent Chinese slump may have had a larger-than-expected effect.

Germany's Finance Ministry warned on Friday that economic output was likely to only have increased slightly in the last quarter of 2015.

It's blamed weak industrial production, but said leading indicators suggest that the German economy would soon recover, according to the ministry's latest monthly report. Additionally, rising orders suggested industrial output would pick up.

"The German economy is in good condition, despite the tough global environment," the report said.

Businesses suffered due to geopolitical tensions, the experts said, specifically mentioning the economical crisis in Russia.

Also, the recent Chinese slump may have had larger effect than expected, the report states.

Earlier this month, the Statistic Office announced that the country's GDP rose by 1.7 in 2015. A preliminary report on the last quarter is due on February 12.

In its economic forecast for 2016 on Wednesday, the German government projected moderate GDP growth, with weaker export demand from a slowdown in developing countries offset by stronger domestic demand thanks to rising wages.

Surplus to pay for refugees

Commenting on the jobs market, the Finance ministry stated that the refugees would be gradually integrated into the labor force. However, their initial effect on the unemployment figures is expected to be minimal.

The unemployment should rise slightly this year, according to the Finance Ministry.

Other data indicated that the authorities received 4.6 percent more in tax revenue in 2015 compared to the year before, and reached 620 billion euro ($678 billion).

This growth continued during the last quarter, experts said.

The numbers also showed that federal government ended the year with surplus of 12.1 billion euro ($13.2 billion).

"This reserve serves to finance the expenses related to the reception and accommodation of asylum seekers and refugees in the year 2016 and beyond," said Finance Ministry official Thomas Steffen.

dj/jr (Reuters, AFP)

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