The expansion rate in Europe’s biggest economy slowed in the third quarter of 2013 but is still in positive territory. This makes Germany stand apart from its neighbor France, where the economy surprisingly contracted.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany fell to 0.3 percent between July and September, following a more robust expansion of 0.7 percent in the preceding three-month period, the Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, announced on Thursday.
The German statisticians noted that economic growth in the third quarter was primarily carried by domestic consumption as exports showed little momentum compared with the preceding quarter.
"Private household and public spending were somewhat higher, and investment in equipment and construction also increased," Destatis announced in the statement.
Economists called it a positive development that capital investment had increased in the third quarter. Commerzbank Chief Economist Jörg Kramer said that a 15-month period of declining spending on machinery and equipment had finally come to an end.
By contrast, Europe's second largest economy, France, unexpectedly contracted in the third quarter. French GDP shrank by 0.1 percent, the INSEE statistics agency announced on Thursday, slowing sharply from growth of 0.5 percent between April and June.
uhe/mkg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)