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'Made in Germany' goods help dodge recession

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'Made in Germany' goods help dodge recession
Photo: DPA
08:38 CEST+02:00
Germany has avoided recession despite the resurgent eurozone debt crisis, official data showed on Tuesday, confirming the resilience of Europe's top economy to the surrounding turmoil.

The country has shown remarkable resistance to the eurozone crisis despite some of its closest neighbours and trading partners suffering crippling financial woes. Both exports and imports are at a record high as demand outside Europe for goods 'made in Germany' continues to grow strongly.

The German economy grew by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of the year, federal statistics office Destatis confirmed, after contracting at the end of 2011, dodging a recession defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

These figures were much better than the market had expected. Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had pencilled in growth of 0.1 percent but were instead faced with growth of 1.7 percent, which the statisticians noted was driven by trade and domestic demand.

Meanwhile, unemployment is near its lowest level since reunification in 1990, in turn boosting domestic consumption and reducing Germany's reliance on trade.

Germany suffered more than most from the international economic and financial crisis that worsened with the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers - contracting nearly five percent in 2009 - but has since rebounded strongly.

Berlin is lagging slightly behind other big cities, though, and is forecast an increase of 0.7 percent for this year which is nonetheless still respectable compared with the eurozone as a whole.

Next year should see the growth rate more than double to 1.6 percent, according to economy ministry forecasts. And forward-looking indicators suggest Germany's future growth path will be firm, with the closely watched Ifo Business Climate Index rising for the past six consecutive months.

AFP/jcw

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