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Germany's economy continues to steam ahead

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Germany's economy continues to steam ahead
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Between January and March Germany’s economy grew by 0.6 percent from the previous quarter – an improvement on the 0.4 percent expansion in the final three months of last year.

Europe’s biggest economy benefited from strong exports (up 1.3 percent) and booming construction investment (up 2.3 percent).

There was also increased consumer spending linked to record-high employment, rising real wages and low borrowing costs. Household spending adding 0.2 percent to growth.

State spending was up 0.4 percent, boosted by billions of euros for accommodating and integrating more than one million refugees who have arrived since the start of 2015, many from war zones such as Syria and Iraq.

The growth figures are good news for Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of September’s national elections. They burnish her economic credentials as she chases a fourth term in office.

A poll published on the same day the statistics were released showed Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc – which has been widening its lead over its Social Democrat rivals – and the pro-business Free Democrats winning enough seats to form a parliamentary majority together.

“The economic upswing has become more broad-based,” VP Bank economist Thomas Gitzel said. “Hopes are growing that this will become a self-reinforcing boom.”