Growth of the German economy, Europe's biggest, slowed to 0.3 percent in the third quarter on sluggish exports, official data showed on Thursday. German gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.3 percent in the period from July to September, slower than the 0.7 percent recorded in the preceding three months, the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement. "The positive impulses in the third quarter came exclusively from within Germany," the statisticians explained. "Private household and public spending were somewhat higher than in the preceding quarter. And investment in equipment and construction also increased compared with the second quarter," the statement said. "By contrast, the trade balance put a brake on GDP growth. While imports continued to rise, exports showed little momentum compared with the preceding quarter," Destatis said.