January 16th, 2017

German economy accelerated in 2016 thanks to higher spending


By The Associated Press on January 12, 2017.

The Brandenburg gate can be seen through the window of a car during snowfall in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Sophia Kembowski/dpa via AP)

BERLIN – Germany’s economy accelerated slightly last year to grow by 1.9 per cent, narrowly beating expectations thanks largely to household and government spending, official data showed Thursday.

The figure released by the Federal Statistical Office was slightly better than Germany’s performance in the previous two years, and also a bit above the 1.8 per cent growth that the government and economists had forecast. Gross domestic product increased by 1.7 per cent in 2015 and 1.6 per cent in 2014.

Household spending was up 2 per cent last year and government consumption spending rose 4.2 per cent, the latter partly a result of spending to deal with the previous year’s large influx of asylum-seekers. Investment in construction was up 3.1 per cent and spending on equipment such as machinery and vehicles rose 1.7 per cent.

Foreign trade had a slightly negative impact on GDP as a 3.4 per cent rise in imports outpaced a 2.5 per cent increase in exports.

The office didn’t immediately offer an estimate for fourth-quarter growth. An official quarterly growth figure is due next month.


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