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German economy growing modestly
23
Feb '16
The German economy is experiencing moderate growth. In the final quarter of 2015, GDP rose by 0.3 per cent in price-, calendar- and seasonally adjusted terms. This confirmed the January reports of a solid GDP increase of 1.7 per cent in real terms last year, the German Economic Affairs Ministry said in a press release.

The upward forces are continuing to prevail in the German economy, even though the signals from the outside economic environment have been mixed for some months now. Industrial output in December 2015 was well down on the month before. New orders also slackened slightly in December, but in the final quarter as a whole they were markedly better than in the third quarter.

The turbulence on the international financial markets at the beginning of the year - triggered not least by the low oil price and the uncertainty about future developments in China - resulted in a darker mood amongst German firms. Business expectations declined considerably in January. The assessment of the current situation remains at a high level, but has weakened slightly since December. Construction output picked up quite a lot of speed in the final quarter of 2015. The improvement is likely to continue in the next few months, particularly in the field of housing construction. Judging by the ongoing rise in employment, the situation in the services sector, which is more oriented towards domestic demand, is continuing to point clearly upwards. The favourable development on the labour market and solid increases in income are causing the purchasing power of private households to increase further. The high influx of refugees is also stimulating demand, albeit to a limited extent, the release said.

The global economy is continuing to display moderate dynamism. A slight acceleration can be expected this year. This will mark a continuation of the flat development seen over recent years. The growth prospects of the US and the Japanese economy are basically expected to be positive this year. The economic recovery is also likely to continue in the euro zone. In China, in contrast, growth is slowing. This is causing problems for China's trading partners, particularly in Asia. Raw-materials exporting countries like Russia and Brazil are still suffering from the low oil and commodity prices. Current cyclical indicators are not suggestive of a global economic recovery. For example, global industrial output shrank somewhat in November 2015, and the Markit Composite Purchasing Managers' Index also fell slightly in January. The recent rise in volatility on the capital markets also reflects the cyclical risks.

Despite the slower global economy, Germany's exporters sold goods worth almost 1,200 billion euros ($1336 bn) to other countries in 2015. There was a slight downwards trend in exports


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