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Germany eyes 'robust' economy in 2013

german-flagBERLIN: Germany, Europe's biggest economy, can expect robust growth in 2013, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said on Monday, although the eurozone's motor slowed towards the end of last year.


Total gross domestic product (GDP) last year grew by "around three quarters" of a percentage point, Roesler said. Germany's statistics agency was expected to publish official data for 2012 GDP next Tuesday.


The government will also release an updated report on the economy next week.


In October, the German government fractionally upgraded its growth forecast for last year to 0.8 percent, but slashed its prognosis for this year to just 1.0 percent.


Roesler acknowledged the fourth quarter was "somewhat weaker than we expected" but pointed to positive signals from companies and order books showing "we can also expect robust growth in 2013."


Any slowdown would be "temporary," predicted Roesler.


After expanding by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, GDP expanded by just 0.3 percent in the second quarter and a mere 0.2 percent in the third quarter.


However, the country's central bank, the Bundesbank, has predicted the economy would contract "noticeably" in the fourth quarter of the year.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013


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