German economy grew 0.9% in first quarter – institute

30 March 2011 18:58  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s GDP grew by a “strong 0.9%” in the 2011 first quarter from the 2010 fourth quarter, as the Japan disaster had only a minor impact on Europe’s largest economy, a research institute forecast on Wednesday.

The growth comes after a relatively weak 0.4% increase in Germany’s GDP in the 2010 fourth quarter from the third, DIW Berlin said.

DIW Berlin said the main reason for the first-quarter rebound was building and construction, which recovered after weeks of harsh winter weather.

The Japan disaster did not have any material impact on the German or the global economy, and is not expected to harm growth going forward, the institute said.

“Going by past experience, such catastrophes have only little impact on the global economy,” said DIW economics expert Ferdinand Fichtner.

DIW, for its part, therefore did not fear that the Japan disaster could have broad negative effects on Germany’s economy, he added.

Germany’s government, in noting the DIW report, said the country’s economic prospects are favourable over the near- to mid-term.

Germany’s GDP is expected to grow 2.3% in 2011, according to the government’s forecast for the year. The increase would come after a 3.6% year-on-year growth in 2010 and a 4.7% decline in 2009 from 2008.

In Germany’s chemicals industry, production is forecast to grow 2.5% year on year in 2011. In 2010, chemical production increased 11% year on year, after declining 10% in 2009 from 2008.

Click here for latest news on the Japan disaster
Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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