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Germany's economy grew just 0.4% in 2013, but better expected for 2014

Germany's economy grew just 0.4% in 2013, but better expected for 2014
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Germany’s economic growth was weaker than expected last year.

GDP expanded by just 0.4 percent compared with 2012.

That was its worst performance since 2009, in the depths of the global financial crisis.

In one positive sign there was stronger domestic demand, but the weaker global economy and the troubles of the eurozone continued to take a toll.

Exports were flat but it is expected trade will support the economy this year as growth in Germany’s key trading partners picks up.

Analyst Robert Halver from Baader Bank said: “The future looks brighter, meaning the forecasts for the world economy are better than expected. And that’s great for German companies’ shares which do have that export potential.”

Growth is expected to improve this year, helped by exports, rising domestic consumption and a recovery in investment by German companies.

Forecasts are for GDP expansion of between 1.2 and 2.0 percent.

“Under the surface of below-trend growth, the economic success story continued as unemployment remained low… Private consumption continued its upward trend and even investment showed first signs of life,” said Carsten Brzeski at ING.

“With the improved global economic outlook, filled order books, low inventories and the stable labour market, all the ingredients for another strong growth performance of the German economy are there,” he said.

The euro zone is also showing signs of recovery. Data this week showed industrial production in the currency bloc rose in November at its fastest pace in nearly four years, but some states, including its second largest economy France, are still struggling.

For the eurozone as a whole, the latest monthly stats show exports fell by 2.0 percent in November compared with the same month a year earlier after a 1.0 percent rise in October, while imports dropped by 5.0 percent, following a 3.0 percent contraction in October.