Arab Today, arab today germany economic outlook has \improved\
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Germany economic outlook has \'improved\'

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Germany economic outlook has \'improved\'

Berlin - AFP

Germany said Thursday it was confident it was continuing to buck the eurozone debt crisis, with prospects growing better and better for Europe\'s top economy. \"The outlook for further (economic) development has improved,\" the economy ministry said in its monthly report. Germany is to announce first-quarter gross domestic product figures next week that are expected to show that it will avoid recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The economy shrank 0.2 percent in the three months to December. \"The spring indicators point to a growing upturn in economic activity, in particular in the highly significant industrial sector,\" the ministry said. Noting budding recoveries in the United States and Japan as well as \"robust\" growth in China and India, it said: \"Internationally, there are growing indicators of an economic rebound.\" The ministry added that the key construction sector had bounced back in April after a slump in February due to severe winter weather while the upward pressure on oil prices had eased slightly in recent weeks. Growth in exports, the traditional backbone of the German economy, also helped fire up expansion while a strong boost in imports in March allowed the country to begin to redress a trade imbalance with key partners. But the report also cited risk factors, including the precarious state of the eurozone in light of the debt crisis. Economy Minister Philipp Roesler told reporters last week that Europe\'s powerhouse economy would grow 0.7 percent in 2012 and 1.6 percent next year, sticking to Berlin\'s previous forecast made in January. \"Growth of 0.7 percent, higher income and more people in employment show that Germany is doing well ... Germany is and remains the growth motor in Europe,\" Roesler said. Unemployment is expected to drop to 6.7 percent this year and to a record low of 6.5 percent in 2013, the government said. The ministry said Thursday that the positive knock-on effects for household income of improvements in the job market was also good news for Germany, although mitigated by \"tangible price increases. \"The outlook for private consumption as one of the significant factors of the domestic economy remains positive in light of the continued positive development of the labour market,\" it concluded. The report also stressed Germany\'s line that austerity measures were the best way to secure a solid economy, as debate rages in Europe about shifting the debt crisis-fighting strategy to fostering growth rather than tightening belts. But it said that the country still had room for improvement in dealing with a lack of qualified labour by doing more to promote employment of women and seniors and to attract foreign skilled workers. Good employment prospects, meanwhile, helped revise slightly upwards Germany\'s forecast tax revenues, another finance ministry report said Thursday. Federal coffers are expected to swell by 1.7 percent over last year, amounting to just over 252 billion euros in 2012, and 9.6 percent more than was originally pencilled in last November, the report by a group of experts said. After suffering more than most in the economic crisis following the 2008 collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, Germany has proved much more resilient to the debt turmoil that has crippled many of its eurozone partners. The most closely watched indicator of German economic health, the business confidence survey conducted by the Ifo institute, has risen for the past six months in a row, surprising analysts who keep expecting a softening. At the same time, investors have flocked to put their money in Germany, seen as a safe haven in the eurozone debt storm.

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