German banking body says economy to grow 1.7 pct in 2014

BERLIN, Sept 18 Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:40am EDT

BERLIN, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Germany's economy will return to "normal" growth of 1.7 percent in 2014 as the euro zone slowly emerges from its sovereign debt crisis, German banking association BdB said on Wednesday.

Private consumption and construction investment will support the recovery in Europe's largest economy, which the BdB sees growing just 0.6 percent this year.

Foreign trade will make only a moderate contribution, as imports and exports will rise at the same pace, it added.

"In the next year, a 'normal' speed will pick up again," the BdB said. "But the highway on which the German economy was speeding along in 2010 and 2011 is currently not in sight."

Germany's economy expanded by 4.0 percent in 2010 and by 3.3 percent in 2011 before slowing to 0.7 percent last year.

German economic data has been mostly positive of late, especially forward-looking mood surveys such as ZEW, which showed on Tuesday that sentiment among investors about Germany's prospects has reached its highest point since April 2010, helped by improving conditions in the euro zone.

(Reporting by Sophie Duvernoy, editing by Gareth Jones)

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