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German economic growth halved in 2008

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, center, and Christian Social Union Party chairm...
 From right, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Horst Seehofer, chairman of Bavaria's Christian Social Unio...
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, after the German coalition government a...
 During a news conference in Berlin, from left, Christian Social Union Party chairman Horst Seehofer, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walte...

Germany Economy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, center, and Christian Social Union Party chairm...

Germany Economy

From right, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Horst Seehofer, chairman of Bavaria's Christian Social Unio...

Germany Economy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, after the German coalition government a...

Germany Economy

During a news conference in Berlin, from left, Christian Social Union Party chairman Horst Seehofer, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walte...

The German economy grew by 1.3 percent in 2008, only about half the previous year's rate as the global financial crisis took its toll on exports, preliminary government figures showed Wednesday.
Europe's biggest economy grew 2.5 percent in 2007 and 3 percent in 2006. It managed healthy growth of 1.4 percent in last year's first quarter, but then started shrinking and went into recession in the third quarter as the financial turmoil intensified.
The Federal Statistical Office offered a rough preliminary estimate that the economy shrank by between 1.5 and 2 percent in the fourth quarter, but it is not due to release official figures until Feb. 13.
"Economic growth in 2008 was solely based on domestic demand," the office said in a statement.
It said net exports, which had powered Germany's relatively strong economic performance in previous years, weighed down last year's growth _ making a negative contribution of 0.3 percentage points to gross domestic product.
Exports grew on 3.9 percent in 2008, down from the previous year's 7.5 percent, while growth in imports was up to 5.2 percent from 5 percent, the statistical office said.
Data released last week showed exports plummeted by 10.6 in November from the previous month _ the sharpest monthly drop since German reunification in 1990.
Alexander Koch, an economist at UniCredit in Munich, said he expected another "ugly" quarterly economic contraction in this year's first quarter.
"All in all, we expect real GDP to contract by about 2 1/2 percent this year," he said. "This would be the worst growth performance since World War II."
The German economy last saw a full-year decline in 2003, when it contracted by 0.2 percent.
Wednesday's figures showed that Germany ran a small budget deficit, 0.1 percent of GDP, last year.
In an effort to help the economy weather the global crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition this week agreed on a new


Updated : 2021-03-09 00:49 GMT+08:00