German economic growth falls flat

Europe's biggest economy failed to grow in final quarter of 2009, statistics show.

    Severe winter conditions may have depressed economic growth in Germany [AFP]

    'Bumpy recovery'

    But analysts remained positive over Germany's economy.

    "The eurozone growth engine has taken a break in the fourth quarter but it should return soon," Carsten Brzeski, ING bank economist, told the Reuters news agency said.

    "Today's numbers, however, were a good reminder that recoveries cannot only be bumpy but also capricious."

    Germany went into recession in 2008 as demand for its exports dried up amid the global economic crisis.

    After shrinking for four straight quarters, including a 3.5 per cent slump in the first quarter of 2009, the country technically emerged from recession with growth in the second quarter of 2009.

    That, in part, helped the 16-nation eurozone to improve economically.

    The Federal Statistical Office will release more detailed data for the fourth quarter at the end of February.

    Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank president, has been warning for some time that the recovery in Europe will be "bumpy" and at times "chaotic".

    Severe winter weather at the turn of the year may have also affected economic growth. Economists say that could hit GDP in the first quarter but that much of such immediate losses are usually made up in the ensuing months.

    Rainer Bruederle, the German economy minister, has said growth in the first quarter of 2010 could be near zero.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.