• Germany's news in English
 

Growth slumps in 2012 as Q4 economy shrinks

Published: 15 Jan 2013 08:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 10:25 GMT+01:00

The federal statistics office Destatis estimated that gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.5 percent in the last three months of 2012, after expanding by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, 0.3 percent in the second quarter and 0.2 percent in the third quarter.

Destatis is not scheduled to publish more precise fourth-quarter GDP data until next month.

But at the authority's annual news conference to present its estimates for full-year growth figures, Destatis' top statistician Norbert Räth gave a rough indication with respect to the fourth quarter.

"The full-year growth figure (of 0.7 percent) implies a contraction of around half a percentage point in the fourth quarter," Räth said.

Despite the sharp slowdown in growth in the second half of last year, Destatis president Roderich Egeler pointed out that Germany was still faring much better than most of its European neighbours, many of which were in recession.

"Overall, the German economy proved itself to be very robust," Egeler said. "Despite the European economic crisis, GDP expanded by 0.7 percent, driven particularly by robust foreign trade as well as domestic consumption," Egeler said.

For the first time for five years, the overall state budget -- which covers both the German government, the regional and municipal authorities, as well as the social welfare administration -- showed a surplus of €2.2 billion ($2.9 billion), equivalent to 0.1 percent of GDP, Egeler added. In 2011, the overall state budget had shown a deficit ratio of 0.8 percent.

But the German government is reportedly expecting growth of only 0.5 percent this year, as the ongoing eurozone crisis drags on Europe's largest economy.

The business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday that Berlin will slash its previous growth forecast in half in its annual economic report due out later this week.

However, government officials see light at the end of the tunnel, penciling in gross domestic product growth of 1.25 percent in the final quarter of 2013. And the German labour market is expected to remain largely unscathed by the economic slowdown this year.

The prognosis assumes Europe’s sovereign debt crisis will continue to fester but not worsen dramatically, which would unsettle financial markets.

“The ongoing debt crisis in some eurozone countries still remains the biggest risk,” the paper quoted the report as saying.

The Local/AFP/DAPD/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:35 January 15, 2013 by Dalmation
However, government officials see light at the end of the tunnel, penciling in gross domestic product growth of 1.25 percent in the final quarter of 2013. And the German labour market is expected to remain largely unscathed by the economic slowdown this year.

Pull the other one. After 4 or 5 quarters of shrinking economy we are supposed to believe it will end in the quarter that just happens to be the one the German state elections are held in. The German labour market got away with it somewhat primarily due to 400 Euro jobs and internships covering up the real story. If we all work for nothing we can pull the big German exporters out of the dung heap they landed us all in. Of course they don't mind leaving us in the dung heap. Thank you Angie and your banking buddies. May you rot in hell.
14:06 January 15, 2013 by smart2012
Verkel, here is the pay back to your poor strategy. Well done! Germans, wake up
Today's headlines
Steinmeier cancels Baltics trip for Iran talks
Photo: DPA

Steinmeier cancels Baltics trip for Iran talks

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has cancelled a planned trip Thursday to the Baltics in order to stay at nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, a German diplomat said. READ  

Uber complains to EU over national bans
Photo: DPA

Uber complains to EU over national bans

Uber has filed complaints with the EU against France, Germany and Spain as the popular taxi app hits back against efforts to ban it from Europe's streets, officials said Wednesday. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Haltern mourns its children lost in crash
People gather outside the St. Sixtus Church in Haltern on Wednesday evening. Photo: DPA

Haltern mourns its children lost in crash

Haltern's St. Sixtus church was full to overflowing on Wednesday evening, as people flocked to mourn the group of schoolchildren the town lost in the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash. READ  

Minister wants to ID Schengen passengers
Photo: DPA

Minister wants to ID Schengen passengers

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière wants to introduce rules forcing airlines to ask all passengers for identification when travelling within the Schengen free-movement zone. READ  

Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson
The charred remains of the "House of 28 doors". Photo: DPA

Berlin refugee groups speak out against arson

Pro-refugee organizations in Berlin spoke out on Wednesday in defiance of an arson attack on an art installation and gathering-place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. READ  

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr (r) and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann near the crash site on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa promises long-term crash help

On a visit to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash site in France, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that the company will do its utmost to help relatives of victims and local people near the crash site. READ  

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition
An anti-fracking demonstration in front of the Chancellery on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Draft fracking law meets strong opposition

The cabinet agreed upon a draft law on “fracking” on Wednesday which will allow testing under stringent rules. But it is unclear whether the law will pass through the Bundestag (German parliament). READ  

Germany's best April Fools' jokes
It's that time of the year again...

Germany's best April Fools' jokes

While it might not be as prevalent as in English-speaking countries, there is still a rich tradition of “Aprilscherze” in Germany. Take a look inside for some of the best of 2015. READ  

April Fools' Day
April Fool! The Local's day in gags
In our April Fool's joke we reinstated the German monarchy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

April Fool! The Local's day in gags

No, you weren’t going crazy when you scrolled through The Local this morning. Today, our network temporarily lost its marbles for April Fools' Day. So, as the clock strikes 12pm, it’s time for The Local to fess up and reveal which of our stories were red herrings. READ  

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence
Defendant Detlev Günzel at the court in Dresden on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence

A court sentenced a German former police officer to eight years and six months in jail Wednesday for killing a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,018
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd