According to Destatis, the country’s federal statistics office, the German economy grew at just 0.6 percent last year.This marks a sharp slump in growth and its weakest expansion in six years. Economists claim the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) was in line with forecasts.

The 2019 full-year GDP figure revealed a slowdown from the 1.5 percent in 2018 and the 2.2 percent expansion seen in Germany’s economy in 2017.

Destatis said: “The German economy thus has grown for the tenth year in a row.

“This has been the longest period of growth in united Germany. However, growth lost momentum in 2019.

“Growth in 2019 was mainly supported by consumption expenditure.

“German exports continued to increase on an annual average in 2019, though at a slower pace than in the previous years.”

The federal statistics office claimed economic performance rose in the service sector, but was markedly down in industry.

The decline in economic growth is part of a trend seen in the country in recent years.

Germany relies heavily on exported goods for its economic strength.

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Germany narrowly avoided entering a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of contracting growth.

The last GDP figures released in November showed a small growth of 0.1 percent in the third quarter.

This was up from a contraction of 0.2 percent in the previous quarter.

Destasism, according to its provisional calculations, said general government budgets achieved a surplus in 2019 for the eighth time in a row, amounting to €49.8billion (£42.6billion) .

This is lower than the record surplus of €62.4billion (£53.4billion) in 2018.

The latest growth data is likely to prompt more calls for Germany’s government to increase public spending to stimulate the economy.

Opposition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition led government accuse it of being obsessed with a “schwarze Null” or “black zero” policy.

The policy aims to maintain a balanced budget and not incur any new debt.

Ms Merkel’s ally, Emmanuel Macron, accused Germany last year of having a “budget fetish”.



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