Germany grew at its weakest rate since the global financial crisis last year, official figures today showed.
Berlin’s Federal Statistics Office said the eurozone’s largest economy expanded by just 0.4 per cent in 2013, which was below the 0.5 per cent that analysts had been expecting.
The head of the statistics office, Roderich Egeler, said strong domestic demand in Germany had been offset by the recession in some of its European neighbours and also relatively weak growth in the rest of the world which dampened exports.
Net trade, which had sustained Germany’s growth for the previous three years, knocked 0.3 per cent off GDP last year.
A contraction in investment also lowered year on year GDP growth by 0.1 per cent. Household consumption grew by 0.9 per cent in the year, contributing 0.5per cent to GDP growth.
But German growth is expected to pick up this year, with the European Commission forecasting a 1.7 per cent GDP expansion, rising to 1.9 per cent in 2015. Economists expect trade to support the economy as growth returns to Germany’s key trading partners.