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German economic growth doubles

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Photo: DPA
08:50 CEST+02:00
Germany's economy gathered momentum in the first three months of the year with gross domestic product (GDP) growing by 0.8 percent - twice as much as the previous quarter. Growth was driven by the mild winter and private consumption.

It represented an acceleration from the preceding quarter, when GDP had grown by 0.4 percent, and the pick-up was driven by booming domestic demand, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement on Thursday morning.

The "extremely mild winter weather also played a role," since it benefitted key sectors such as construction, Destatis said.

"Private households and the government increased spending at the start of the year," the statement said.

"The trend in investment was also positive, with a sharp increase in investment in both construction and equipment."

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In addition, companies built up their stockpiles, which had a positive effect on growth. "By contrast, net foreign trade weighed on growth. According to preliminary calculations, exports were down at the beginning of the year, while there was a sharp increase in imports compared with the fourth quarter of 2013," Destatis said.

Growth also picked up on a 12-month basis, with GDP expanding by 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the corresponding period a year earlier. "That is the sharpest increase in more than two years," Destatis said.

SEE ALSO: German economy enjoying 'solid upturn'

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