German growth picks up to 0.5% in third quarter: data

FRANKFURT, Nov 15, 2011 (AFP) - Growth of the German economy, Europe's biggest, picked up in the third quarter, driven primarily by strong domestic demand and rising consumer spending, official data showed Tuesday.

Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.5 percent in the period from July to September compared with the preceding three months, the federal statistics office Destatis calculated.

Growth in the second quarter had stood at 0.3 percent, revised upwards from an original estimate of 0.1 percent.

"Positive impulses came primarily from domestic demand, with rising consumer spending in particular contributing to growth," the statisticians said in a statement.

"In addition, investment in equipment also increased, while construction investment declined somewhat after a strong start to the year," the statement said.

Foreign trade was also robust, with both exports and imports growing by around the same amount.

On a 12-month basis, GDP expanded by 2.6 percent in the July-September period on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, slower than the growth of 3.0 percent recorded in the preceding quarter.

Destatis will publish detailed growth figures for the third quarter on November 24.

Economists expect the German economy to slow in the fourth quarter, or even contract slightly, as the eurozone debt crisis and the turbulence on the financial markets puts the brakes on growth.

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