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Germany barely escapes the recession after flat growth in the fourth quarter

Heavy traffic in Friedrichstrasse, Berlin

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Heavy traffic in Friedrichstrasse, Berlin

Germany narrowly avoided a technical recession after flat growth in the fourth quarter, raising concerns about the further slowdown in the largest European economy.

Destatis added that "positive contributions" came from domestic demand in the fourth quarter. "However, foreign trade did not contribute positively to growth in the fourth quarter."

The latest growth data from Germany comes from a period of domestic turmoil, especially for the battered auto industry and global concerns over trade, import tariffs and growth.

The flat data for the fourth quarter show that Germany narrowly avoided a recession – two successive quarters of declining growth. However, it is not good for Europe, which sees Germany as a traditional growth driver in the region.

"After a dynamic start to the first half (+0.4 percent in the first quarter, +0.5 percent in the second quarter) was a slight slump (-0.2 percent in the third quarter, 0.0 percent in the fourth quarter) "For the whole of 2018, this was an increase of 1.4 percent," said Destatis.

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