German economy grows by a stronger-than-expected 0.5%


Germany's economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 0.5% in the first three months of the year despite Europe's debt crisis.

Exports helped the economy bounce back from a slight fall in output of 0.2% in the fourth quarter of last year, the government statistics agency said.

Germany remains a standout performer despite Europe's troubles with too much debt in several countries. Unemployment is low and exports of manufactured goods such as cars and machinery remain robust.

Compared with the same quarter a year ago, Germany grew 1.7%.

The European Commission expects the economy in the 17 countries that use the euro to shrink 0.3% this year.