German economy shrinks by about 0.5% in Q4
WIESBADEN, Germany - The German economy, Europe's biggest, shrank by an estimated 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2012, the federal statistics office Destatis calculated Tuesday, January 15.
However, the same office reported that for the whole year, Germany posted growth. It said the country grew 0.7% in 2012, slower compared with 3% in 2011.
"The full-year growth figure implies a contraction of around half a percentage point in the fourth quarter," Destatis' top statistician Norbert Raeth told a news conference here.
Destatis president Roderich Egeler said the 2012 growth was "driven particularly by robust foreign trade as well as domestic consumption."
For the first time in 5 years, the overall state budget -- which covers both the German government, the regional and municipal authorities, as well as the social welfare administration -- showed a surplus of 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion), equivalent to 0.1% of gross domestic product, Egeler added.
In 2011, the overall state budget had shown a deficit ratio of 0.8%. - Agence France-Presse