BERLIN, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — The gross domestic product (GDP) in Germany stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Friday.
According to Destatis, the price-adjusted GDP growth for the entire year 2019 was 0.6 percent, which was significantly less than in the previous two years when Germany’s GDP was still growing between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent.
The final consumption expenditure of both households and government “slowed down markedly” in the fourth quarter, Destatis noted.
Investments, on the other hand, showed a mixed picture. While investments in machinery and equipment were “considerably” less than Q3, construction investments in Germany continued to rise.
“Construction, which held up well, is the only bright spot in this picture,” Axel Lindner, deputy head of the department of macroeconomics at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) told Xinhua on Friday.
According to Destatis, the external economic developments dampened the German economy in the fourth quarter of 2019. Preliminary calculations showed that exports were slightly down compared to the previous quarter.
In January, the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) warned that possible U.S. customs duties on cars and the uncertainties regarding Brexit would have “direct impact on the German economy, where around every fourth job depends on exports.”
For 2020, the German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE) had forecast the GDP growth in Germany of 0.9 percent. Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), on the other hand, is more positive and expects an increase in the price-adjusted GDP of 1.1 percent.
“The economy will develop better this year than what was expected last year,” said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier two weeks ago when presenting the annually economic report for 2020. “The outlook has brightened.”