German economy expands less than forecast
Germany's economy expanded less than forecast last quarter as turmoil in Greece and a slowdown in China sapped global demand.
German gross domestic product rose 0.4 percent in the three months ended June 30, after increasing 0.3 percent in the previous quarter, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said on Friday. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted an expansion of 0.5 percent. France's economy stagnated last quarter after growing a revised 0.7 percent in the JanuaryMarch period, separate data showed earlier.
While German domestic spending is boosted by record-low unemployment and interest rates, its role as Europe's largest exporter leaves it exposed to stumbles in the global economy. The euro-area recovery is fragile and uneven, and China, Germany's third-largest trading part- ner, is struggling to stem its own slowdown.
"Exports are a key pillar for the German economy and global demand is currently too low to sustain it at full speed," said Johannes Gareis, an economist at Natixis SA in Frankfurt. "But the German economy finds itself generally in a comfortable situation and in fact it is set to profit from increasing tailwinds in the coming months."
Euro-area GDP probably expanded 0.4 percent in the second quarter after growing at the same pace in the previous three months, according to a separate survey. That report is due from the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg at 11 a.m. on Friday. Slovakia, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal are scheduled to release national figures before then.
Spain's GDP increased 1 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in more than 8 years, data showed on July 30.