By Annika Breidthardt and Michelle Martin
BERLIN Nov 23 Exports and private consumption
helped Germany to keep growing in the third quarter of 2012,
albeit at a slower rate than previously, as Europe's largest
economy felt the pinch of the euro zone crisis.
The Federal Statistics Office on Friday confirmed its
initial estimate that German gross domestic product growth
slowed 0.1 percentage points to 0.2 percent in the three months
The breakdown showed exports supported growth in the third
quarter, rising 1.4 percent, while government spending gained
0.4 percent and private consumption was up 0.3 percent.
Germany held up strongly during the first two years of the
debt turmoil that has hammered Europe but a slide of a number of
the continent's economies into recession and a worsening global
outlook has prompted companies to hold off on investments.
The seasonally-adjusted data showed gross capital investment
made no contribution to German growth in the third quarter.
"Businesses are investing less in machines and other
equipment. The only explanation for that is a crisis of
confidence - which means the German economy will lose more
speed," said Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank.
Chipmaker Infineon has already said it will cut
"The tough savings measures in southern Europe, weaker
growth in China and uncertainty over the euro crisis are all
contributing factors," said Schmieding.
Economists expect a contraction in the fourth quarter but
forecast Germany will avoid a recession - defined as two
consecutive quarters of quarter-on-quarter falls in GDP.
German business morale measured by the Ifo index is due at
0900 GMT and is expected to fall for the seventh successive
month to the lowest in almost three years in November. Business
expectations, however, are seen steady, pointing to a recovery
Data this week showed service providers' expectations were
the most downbeat since March 2009 as firms became more worried
that clients would slash their budgets next year and that the
euro zone crisis would hamper a German recovery.