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ECONOMY

German economy grew more than estimated in third quarter

Germany's economy grew more than previously thought in the third quarter despite high inflation and an energy crisis, revised official data showed Friday.

Lübeck Christmas market
Shoppers stroll through Lübeck Christmas market. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Markus Scholz

Europe’s biggest economy expanded by 0.4 percent between July and September compared to the second quarter — slightly better than the 0.3 percent growth previously calculated by federal statistics agency Destatis.

Analysts had forecast a contraction in the third quarter as the fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine takes a toll on European economies.

“Overall, the German economy remains robust,” Destatis said in a statement. Gross domestic  product grew “despite difficult general conditions in the global economy such as the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, delivery bottlenecks, continuing price rises and the war in Ukraine,” it said.

READ ALSO: German recession could be less severe than expected, survey shows

A separate survey on Friday showed that German consumer confidence has edged up again following a long period of decline, the latest indication that concerns are easing about the severity of a approaching downturn.

Pollster GfK’s forward-looking barometer registered minus 40.2 points for December, an increase of 1.7 points from November.

Germany was heavily reliant on Russian gas before the war, and Moscow’s move to cut off flows through the crucial Nord Stream 1 pipeline has fuelled fears of energy shortages and skyrocketing heating bills this winter.

Record-high inflation of 10 percent in September has added to the pain, as consumers and businesses see their purchasing power eroded.

The German government expects the economy to shrink by 0.4 percent in 2023.

READ ALSO: Has Germany’s sky-high inflation finally peaked?

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ECONOMY

‘Very small breather’: German inflation unexpectedly slows down

German inflation unexpectedly slowed in November after months of increases, preliminary data showed Tuesday, as sky-high energy prices begin to ease.

'Very small breather': German inflation unexpectedly slows down

The inflation rate in Europe’s top economy fell back to 10 percent this month, federal statistics agency Destatis said, after hitting a record high of 10.4 percent in October.

Analysts surveyed by Factset had expected an acceleration of 10.5 percent in November.

The surprise dip comes as “energy prices have eased slightly”, Destatis said, although it noted they were still 38.4 percent higher than a year earlier.

As in other countries across Europe, Germany’s recent consumer price hikes have been fuelled by soaring food and energy costs in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: 10 ways to save money on your groceries in Germany

The German government has unveiled a €200 billion energy fund to shield households and businesses from price shocks, and has raced to diversify supplies after Russia cut gas deliveries.

Tuesday’s inflation data offered a “very small breather” for a country bracing for a difficult winter, said ING bank economist Carsten Brzeski.

But he cautioned it was too soon to hope inflation was on a downhill path.

“The pass-through of higher wholesale gas prices is still in full swing. Many households will see the first price increase only as of January 1st,” he said.

READ ALSO: How energy prices are rising across Germany

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde echoed that sentiment Monday, when she said the eurozone had not yet reached peak inflation.

Like other central banks around the world the ECB has moved aggressively to curb red-hot inflation, lifting its key interest rates by two percentage points since July.

Lagarde has repeatedly said the bank would continue to raise rates in its battle to bring inflation back to its two-percent target.
The next rate hike is expected at the ECB’s upcoming December 15th meeting.

READ ALSO: Has Germany’s sky high inflation finally peaked?

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