German 1Q GDP grows robust 0.8 pct but some slowing expected

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BERLIN – Germany’s economy grew a robust 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, doubling the rate of the previous quarter with help from mild winter weather and a strong labour market.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday the figure, which was adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors, shows Europe’s strongest economy is gaining momentum. A detailed breakdown of the figures isn’t available until the end of the month.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski says two opposing trends will affect the future growth. He says the strong labour market and the construction sector should support growth, but economic weakness from France, the crisis in Ukraine, and the Chinese slowdown will hurt it.

In all, he says “some slowdown to more normal growth rates is in the offing.”

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