German economy, Europe's largest, posts 0.6 pct 2Q growth

German growth slows slightly in second quarter: data

Germany's federal statistics office has reported slower growth of the economy in the second quarter of this year. She's seeking a fourth term in September.

"The unemployment rate is very low, the economy has done very well particularly by the eurozone standards, so it's quite possible that it will boost support for the incumbent party".

Import bills in the reviewed quarter stayed higher. Though monthly figures can be volatile, the fall, the first since February, was in line with predictions in financial markets, with many economists warning about the implications of the euro's rise in recent months, particularly against the currencies of the eurozone's two biggest export markets, Britain and the U.S.

Germany's growth performance did little to alter the path of the euro, which has moved tentatively lower since the beginning of August.

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Carsten Brzeski, analyst at ING Bank, said Germany's economic success just went "on and on and on" but he cautioned that exports could be dented by a stronger euro, weaker-than-expected USA growth and Brexit uncertainty.

Analysts at LBBW said the quarter-on-quarter increase in imports was just another sign of an economy in robust health and should go some way towards silencing critics of Germany's massive trade surplus. The Spanish economy keeps powering ahead, however, with a growth rate of 0.9 percent in the April-June quarter. The FT said France had 0.5% growth, while Spain also had its best measure in three years with a 0.9% increase. Though a stronger currency shows that confidence is returning to the eurozone economy, it does have the potential to weigh on exporters as it increases the price of their goods in global markets, all other things being equal.

"All in all, the German economy is still thriving and now the biggest risk is probably policy complacency", said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING.

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