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German Economic Growth Hits 6-Year Peak in 2017

German Economic Growth Hits 6-Year Peak in 2017

The German economy's strong 2017 performance extended into the final three months of the year, with growth of nearly half a percent. Its public finances reported a record surplus, spurring hopes of another solid performance this year.

Growth hit 2.2 percent, according to the federal statistics office. That sets the eurozone's biggest economy up well for 2018, which is good news for the currency region, as it enjoys the strongest growth in a decade.

Consumer spending, supported by ultra-borrowing costs, record high employment and increasing wages, provided the largest stimulant.

Company investments and exports, the traditional driver of Europe's largest economy, also contributed as demand for 'made in Germany' goods accelerated globally and also while the eurozone faces its broadest recovery in a decade.

Although Germany's full-year output of 2.2 percent was slightly lower than analysts estimated, it is unlikely for it to damp optimism regarding the outlook given the strength of recent numbers.

Company surveys and industrial data had indicated an upbeat German performance in the fourth quarter of 2017, and strong business sentiment and order flows may raise prospects for 2018.

With the Ifo institute forecasting even quicker expansion of 2.6 percent for 2018, part of the economic spotlight is falling on political leaders as, following months spent failing to form a coalition, they debate how best to build on that momentum.

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