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Germany enjoys strong economic growth in Q1

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By Euronews
Germany enjoys strong economic growth in Q1

Gross domestic product in Germany picked up in the first three months of this year.

Europe’s biggest economy grew by 0.6 percent between January and March compared to the previous quarter.

That improvement came from companies investing more, particularly in equipment and construction of buildings, helped by mild winter weather.

In addition consumers and the government continued to spend and exports soared.

The latest numbers are good news for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of September’s federal election and for the eurozone generally as Germany is the region’s driver of economic growth.

Doping cocktail

“The economy continues to benefit from a doping cocktail of low interest rates, favourable oil prices and an export-boosting exchange rate,” DIHK managing director Martin Wansleben said.

He added that numerous risks, such as US President Donald Trump’s protectionist threats and the uncertain outcome of Brexit negotiations, had not slowed growth so far.

“Companies are increasing their spending on machinery and equipment in order to seize the opportunities of digitisation, remain internationally competitive and drive innovation.”

How does Germany compare?

The latest data underlines the strength of the German economy compared with its peers.

The French economy, the second-largest in the euro zone, grew 0.3 percent in the first quarter, slowing from 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2016, preliminary data showed.

For Italy, the third-biggest economy in the 19-member eurozone, the national central bank has projected quarterly growth of 0.2 percent. Preliminary data are due next Tuesday.

The Spanish economy powered ahead, however, with a stronger-than-expected growth rate of 0.8 percent in the first quarter, above the eurozone average of 0.5 percent.

Outside the eurozone, Britain’s economy slowed to 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2017 from 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter.