BERLIN — Germany's economy accelerated slightly last year to grow by 1.9
The figure released by the Federal Statistical Office was slightly better than Germany's performance in the previous two years, and also a bit above the 1.8
The statistical office offered a rough estimate that the economy grew by about half a
Domestic spending once again powered the economy, which is traditionally export-heavy, to stronger growth.
Household spending was up 2
Foreign trade had a slightly negative impact on GDP as a 3.4
Germany has now enjoyed seven consecutive years of economic growth, a contrast with weak performances in many other European countries. That has translated into healthy government finances.
The country had a 19.2 billion-euro ($20.2 billion) budget surplus last year, or 0.6
Of the 18 other eurozone countries, only Estonia and Luxembourg are expected to have produced a surplus last year, statistical office head Dieter Sarreither said.
"Despite the stock market crash in China, Brexit, Turkey, Trump and Italy, the economy performed its best growth year since 2011," said ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski. "Strong domestic demand has shielded the German economy against most external risks."
He argued that the biggest risk is complacency, and that Germany urgently needs structural reforms along with stronger investment — but "it is very unlikely that it will get any of these before the elections" expected in September.
Geir Moulson, The Associated Press