Germany marks balanced budget amid crisis | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 15.01.2013
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Germany marks balanced budget amid crisis

For the first time in five years, Germany has come up with a balanced budget despite the eurozone crisis raging around it. According to statisticians, growth has been moderate, with exports booming.

Amid a protracted eurozone debt crisis, the Continent's economic powerhouse managed to come up with a balanced budget in 2012, marking the first slight surplus of 0.1 percent in five years.

The National Statistics Office (Destatis) reported on Tuesday that the government, the country's 16 states, and regional communities earned 2.2 billion euros ($2.94 billion) more than they spent last year.

In 2011, Germany had still logged a deficit of 0.8 percent, and 4.1 percent in 2010. A marginal surplus had last been posted in 2007.

Strong demand for German goods

Preliminary Destatis data also showed that Germany's economy expanded by 0.7 percent in 2012 despite unfavorable cyclical developments in many parts of the world and despite a contraction in the final quarter of the year.

German inflation-adjusted exports grew by 4.1 percent last year, with imports only gaining 2.3 percent over 2011 levels. Shipments to the United States and China helped support Germany's economy even as demand sagged in crisis hit-countries such as Spain, Portugal and Greece.

The trade surplus made an important contribution to the annual development of the country's gross domestic product and once more proved to be the strongest growth engine of the national economy.

hg/sej (dpa, dapd, Reuters)