German economy grew 0.2 percent in the first quarter

FRANKFURT – The German economy grew by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, supported by higher investment, the German statistics office reported Friday.

That rate of tepid growth is leaving German economic output 0.9 percent below pre-pandemic levels. On the year, however, the economy was still up 4.0 percent.

Prospects are not rosy, the office suggested, noting that since the end of February, “the economic effects of the war in Ukraine have had an increasing impact on economic development.”

The German government earlier this week slashed its 2022 growth outlook to 2.2 percent from the 3.6 percent it forecast in January, citing uncertainty caused by the war as well as the conflict’s broader effect on inflation. For 2023, it projected growth of 2.5 percent.

Earlier today, data from France showed that the eurozone’s second biggest economy has unexpectedly ground to a halt — which is below the pre-release expectation among analysts of an expansion of 0.3 percent.

In Spain, meanwhile, growth slowed to 0.3 percent, also undershooting expectations of a 0.5 percent expansion.

Later today, preliminary growth figures for the eurozone will be released. Analysts in a Reuters survey projected a quarterly increase of around 0.2 percent.

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