German economy feared to have stalled 

 

Germany's economy slipped into reverse in the last quarter of 2011 in spite of showing strong overall growth for the year of 3 per cent, the country's Federal Statistics Office said today.

The country's annual growth rate was achieved in spite of the financial crisis in Europe which has other economies such as Greece, Spain and Italy struggling with huge debts and slumping output. 

"The German economy again grew robustly in 2011," the German statistics office, Destatis, said in a statement. 

In 2010, the German economy grew by 3.7 per cent after a painful contraction of 5.1 per cent in 2009, which was by far its worst showing since World War II. 

While the 2011 growth figure was as expected by analysts, the statistics office also said that the German economy likely contracted by 0.25 per cent in the last quarter of 2011. The exact figure for fourth quarter growth is due only in mid-February and could be revised. 

The chief economist for Commerzbank, Joerg Kraemer, expressed little surprise regarding the slowdown and told German news agency dapd he expected the German economy to shrink in the first quarter of 2012 as well. 

Looking ahead, economic indicators also suggest 2012 will be a tougher year. 

"While the German economy grew very strongly in the last two years, this year's growth will be much lower, especially because of the crisis in the eurozone," Ferdinand Fichtner, the head of the DIW economic institute, said in a statement. 

Germany's 2011 growth puts it in a small group of strongly performing eurozone countries, along with Finland, Austria, Slovakia, and Luxembourg. France should see more moderate growth of around 1.7 for the year, according to the International Monetary Fund, while output stagnates amid high unemployment in Spain and Italy, the recent focus of the debt crisis. 

Greece and Portugal, bailed out to avoid default, remain in deep recessions. 

Germany should outperform the United States, which announces 2011 GDP on January 27. The IMF estimates the US economy grew 1.6 per cent over the year. The figure remains far short of emerging economies such as China, estimated at 9.5 per cent, and India at 7.8 per cent. 

Germany's strongest growth was seen in the first six months of the year, when consumer spending rose 1.5 per cent — the biggest increase in five years. 

Exports were also strong, according to Destatis, growing 8.2 per cent compared with the year before. Imports rose 7.2 per cent. 

Simon Junker, an expert with the DIW institute, warned that expectations for the economy in 2012 were damped by the eurozone crisis and that both exports and imports would slow down. 

"Germany's strongly export-driven economy will not be able to elude the slowdown of the global economy," Junker said. "Especially German exports will suffer from the eurozone crisis." 

However, the DIW said, there is reason to be optimistic if the eurozone governments "manage to quickly and believably contain the crisis." 

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines