BERLIN Aug 14 The German economy suffered a
surprise contraction in the second quarter, its first in more
than a year, as foreign trade and investment, particularly in
the construction sector, weighed on growth in Europe's largest
The data, combined with weakness in other large countries
like Italy, is likely to raise new doubts about the recovery in
the euro zone, which is struggling to emerge from the deep
financial crisis that nearly tore it apart.
Germany's Federal Statistics Office said the economy shrank
by 0.2 percent between April and June. It had been forecast to
stagnate, according to a Reuters poll.
It was a marked slowdown from the January-March period, when
the economy grew strongly, in part due to mild winter weather.
In a further blow, the Statistics Office revised down the first
quarter growth figure to 0.7 percent, from a previously reported
expansion of 0.8 percent.
Unadjusted data showed the economy grew by 0.8 percent on
the year in the second quarter, missing the consensus forecast
in a Reuters poll for it to expand by 1.5 percent.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Noah Barkin)