Ifo economist sees Germany growing 0.2 pct in Q1

BERLIN Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:26am EST

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BERLIN Feb 22 (Reuters) - Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe expects Germany, Europe's largest economy, to grow by 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2013 after shrinking by 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012, he told Reuters on Friday.

Earlier on Friday the Munich-based Ifo think tank's business climate index for February, based on a survey of some 7,000 firms, posted its strongest monthly rise since July 2010, pushing higher for a fourth consecutive month.

Wohlrabe said exports, which drove Germany to a contraction in the fourth quarter, would pick up this year with the strength of the euro not having an impact. The investment backlog was beginning to clear and construction order books were full.

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