15 February 2011, 18:05  German economy lose some steam

The German economy, Europe's biggest and one of the fastest growing, lost some steam in the fourth quarter of 2010 owing to a cold snap, official figures showed today. Activity expanded 0.4% in the three months to December, missing analyst forecasts for 0.5%. Cold weather and snow in December curtailed construction activity and economists said it would probably bounce back like it did last year.
For all of 2010, the Destatis office confirmed the economic expansion of 3.6% initially estimated in January, marking the strongest growth since east and west Germany were reunited in late 1990.
In the last three months of the year, activity expanded by a price-adjusted 4% from the same time in 2009, it added, slightly less than analyst forecasts for 4.1%. 'The upswing of the German economy continued at the end of 2010, though at a slightly slower pace,' a Destatis statement said. The economy grew 2.2% in the second quarter, slowing to 0.7% in the third.
German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said in a statement that 'these results show that the upward trend of the German economy is continuing,' and the government still expects growth of 2.3% this year.

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