Germany’s 2.2% GDP growth in 2017 the fastest pace in 6 years

Exports — a traditional strength of the German economy — grew by 4.7 percent, a much stronger performance than the previous year’s 2.6 percent. (AP)
Updated 11 January 2018
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Germany’s 2.2% GDP growth in 2017 the fastest pace in 6 years

BERLIN: The German economy accelerated last year to grow by 2.2 percent, putting in its strongest performance for six years thanks primarily to increasing demand at home, official data showed Thursday.
The figure released by the Federal Statistical Office was the strongest since 2011 when Europe’s biggest economy grew by 3.7 percent. Gross domestic product expanded by 1.9 percent in 2016 and 1.7 percent in 2015.
Household spending by Germans was up 2 percent last year, while investment in machinery and other equipment was up 3.5 percent.
Exports — a traditional strength of the German economy — grew by 4.7 percent, a much stronger performance than the previous year’s 2.6 percent. But they were outpaced by imports, which expanded by 5.2 percent, up from 3.9 percent in 2016.
Overall, foreign trade contributed 0.2 percentage points to last year’s GDP growth.
Eight consecutive years of growth have also helped Germany’s public finances. Germany had its fourth budget surplus in a row last year, totaling 1.2 percent of GDP, according to Thursday’s report. That was up from 0.8 percent the previous year as growth in the state’s income outpaced increased spending.
The statistics office offered a rough estimate that the economy grew by more than a half-percent in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three-month period. However, it won’t release an official figure until mid-February, after data for December become available.


VW to stop doing business in Iran: Bloomberg

Updated 58 min 40 sec ago
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VW to stop doing business in Iran: Bloomberg

  • VW will still be able to do some business in Iran under a humanitarian exception
  • VW has scrapped plans it announced in July last year to sell cars in Iran for the first time in 17 years

WASHINGTON: Volkswagen has bowed to American pressure stemming from the US rejection of the multi-party nuclear deal and will end almost all business in Iran, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
The accord was reached Tuesday after weeks of talks between the German auto giant and the administration of President Donald Trump, said Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador to Germany, according to Bloomberg.
VW will still be able to do some business in Iran under a humanitarian exception, Bloomberg added.
In May, Trump pulled the US out of the deal it reached with Iran and five other countries in 2015. That accord lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
Now, the US is reimposing those sanctions.
Bloomberg said VW has scrapped plans it announced in July last year to sell cars in Iran for the first time in 17 years.