Germany's central bank is convinced Europe's biggest economy will avoid a recession after economic output shrank in the final months of 2012. Growth is returning in 2013, the Bundesbank has said in its monthly report.
An expansion in total economic production could be expected for the German economy already in the first quarter of 2013, the Bundesbank said in its February report released Monday, without giving a precise figure of estimated growth for the first three months of 2013.
However, the German central bank added that the recovery in Europe's biggest economy was expected to accelerate gradually over the rest of the year.
The bank report suggested that Germany, unlike most of its eurozone partners, would avoid a recession, which is identified as two successive quarters of economic contraction. German gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012 amid weak eurozone demand and sluggish global growth.
In 2013, the Bundesbank expected the external economic environment to remain weak and unable to provide the trigger for a sharp surge in demand for German goods and services. However, increasing business confidence in the country would boost domestic business investments.
Germany’s economic minister, Philipp Rösler, said last week that he expected the recent weakness in the economy to be only temporary, forecasting annual growth to reach 0.4 percent in 2013. The German Federation of Chambers of Commerce (DIHK) is even more upbeat, projecting growth to climb to 0.7 percent this year.
uhe/slk ( AP, AFP, dpa)