Ger­man eco­nomic growth picks up, na­tion’s fi­nances in the black: data

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Ger­man eco­nomic growth picked up in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2015, and the public fi­nances of Europe’s eco­nomic pow­er­house were firmly in the black in the first half, data showed on Tues­day.

Ger­man gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) ex­panded by 0.4 per­cent in the pe­riod from April to June, up from 0.3 per­cent in the first quar­ter, the fed­eral sta­tis­tics of­fice Des­tatis said, con­firm­ing a flash es­ti­mate re­leased ear­lier this month.

At the same time, Des­tatis cal­cu­lated that Ger­many’s fi­nances were firmly in the black, with the fed­eral, re­gional, mu­nic­i­pal and wel­fare bud­gets run­ning up a com­bined sur­plus of 21.1 bil­lion eu­ros (US$24.4 bil­lion) in the pe­riod from Jan­uary to June.

That is equiv­a­lent to 1.4 per­cent of GDP, Des­tatis said.

Ger­many’s public fi­nances “con­tin­ued to profit from the fa­vor­able em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion and pos­i­tive growth, as well as mod­er­ate spend­ing,” Des­tatis said.

But the statis­ti­cians warned against ex­trap­o­lat­ing the first-half fig­ures on to the year as a whole, as the bud­get sur­pluses tended to be lower in the sec­ond half of the year.

Un­der EU rules, mem­ber states are not al­lowed to run up bud­get deficits of more than 3.0 per­cent of over­all out­put, but Ger­many’s fi­nances were in sur­plus last year.

Turn­ing to the sec­ond-quar­ter GDP data, Des­tatis said that “pos­i­tive im­pulses came pri­mar­ily from for­eign trade.”

Ex­ports were up

2.2 per­cent quar­ter-on-quar­ter and im­ports rose by 0.8 per­cent, which meant the re­sult­ing trade sur­plus — the dif­fer­ence be­tween ex­ports and im­ports — added 0.7 per­cent­age point to growth, Des­tatis cal­cu­lated.

That was “the big­gest growth en­gine in the sec­ond quar­ter,” it said.

On the side of do­mes­tic de­mand, the sig­nals were more mixed.

While pri­vate house­holds marginally in­creased spend­ing by 0.2 per­cent and public sec­tor spend­ing rose by 0.3 per­cent, in­vest­ment in plant and equip­ment de­clined by 0.4 per­cent.

“All in all, do­mes­tic de­mand de­creased slightly in the sec­ond quar­ter, knock­ing 0.3 per­cent­age point off the over­all growth rate,” Des­tatis said.

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