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German economy storms ahead at fastest pace in 20 years
Date : August 13, 2010
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Berlin, Ramadan 03,1431/Aug 13, SPA -- The German economy stormed ahead by 2.2 per cent
during the second quarter, the statistics office said Friday, with a
surge in exports and a pickup in investment helping to power the
nation to its fastest growth rate in two decades, according to dpa.

Adjusted for the number of working days, economic growth soared by
3.7 per cent when the second-quarter figures are compared with the
same period in 2009, as foreign orders from the world's leading
emerging economies and a weaker euro ramped up German exports.

The German economy is "playing in a league of its own" said ING
Bank economist Carsten Brzeski as the nation's buoyant growth drives
economic expansion across Europe.

The European Union' statistics office Eurostat said Friday the
region's growth rate bounded ahead by a bigger-than-forecast 1 per
cent in the second quarter with Germany's economic performance
helping to offset the more tepid expansion rates in other parts of
Europe.

The German economy grew at its fastest rate since the fall of the
Berlin Wall paved the way for the nation's reunification two decades
ago, the statistics office said.

Economists have already begun to revise up their 2010 growth
forecasts. The Frankfurt-based Commerzbank said it was raising its
prognosis from a 2.5-per-cent expansion rate to a vigorous 3.25 per
cent.

German Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle described the
second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data as "a growth
miracle" and predicted that the nation's economic expansion would
come in well above 2 per cent.

The robust economic performance during the second quarter follows
a dramatic 5-per-cent contraction in 2009.

Underpinning the nation's growth has been another wave of
corporate restructuring combined with a long period of wage
stagnation, which have helped to bolster the nation's international
competitiveness.

German exports surged by a more-than-forecast 3.8 per cent in June
after soaring by a revised 7.9 per cent in May, the statistics office
said earlier this month.

Already, however, the nation's unions have signalled plans to step
up their wage demands this year.

Business leaders have also warned about a skilled shortage
emerging in the nation as a result of the fast-paced growth rate.

"We must exploit the potential of people in this country, while
skilled workers from abroad have to be accepted," said Martin
Wansleben, the chief of Germany's Chamber of Commerce (DIHK).

The consensus among analysts was for Europe's biggest economy to
expand by 1.3 per cent in the three months ended June, after it grew
by an upwardly revised 0.5 per cent in the first quarter. Adjusted
for prices, year-on-year second-quarter GDP stood at 4.1 per cent.

But a number of analysts had believed that the country's GDP in
the three months ended June could come in closer to 2 per cent
following a batch of upbeat indicators pointing to the economy
gaining momentum in recent months.

Analysts have also warned that the pace of Germany's economic
expansion should ease up in the coming months in the wake of signs of
a slowdown in the key pillars of the world economy - China and the US
- along with moves around the world to cut government spending.

Releasing the data the Wiesbaden-based statistics office said
exports and investment were the key drivers of German growth in the
second quarter. Private and public spending also made positive
contributions.

The statistics office is to publish a detailed breakdown of the
second-quarter GDP figures on August 24.
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