German economy expands by 0.2% in Q1
Destatis, Germany’s statistics office, has today revealed Europe’s largest economy experienced growth of 0.2% in the first three months of 2010.
The results beat expectations after analysts had expected the economy to stagnate, as it did in the last three months of 2009.
However, Destatis said fourth quarter GDP was revised upwards to 0.2% taking the GDP contraction for 2009 down to 4.9%, from the 5% reported previously.
In a statement, Destatis said: “The German economy is slowly gaining momentum” and added exports and investments in industrial equipment fuelled the growth.
Germany was one of the first economies to emerge from recession in the second quarter of last year and the Government is forecasting growth of 1.4% this year.
In related news, it recently emerged that the German unemployment rate fell sharply in April to 8.1%, from 8.5% the previous month.
The fall meant the unemployment rate Germany is at the lowest level since January 2009.
Germany’s job market is much stronger than in many other countries and many believe it is the result of the “Kurzarbeit” scheme, introduced by the German Government, designed to prevent mass redundancies.
Meanwhile, German exports in April soared by 10.7% compared with March and were up by nearly a quarter on an annual basis.
However, Germany lost its status as the world’s largest exporter to China last year.