BERLIN Feb 14 Germany's economy shrank by 0.6
percent in the final quarter of 2012, its deepest contraction
since the height of the global financial crisis in 2009 as
exports slowed at the end of the year, seasonally-adjusted data
showed on Thursday.
Preliminary Statistics Office data also showed Europe's
largest economy still grew on the year, albeit at a meagre 0.1
percent, down from 0.4 percent growth in the third quarter.
"Comparatively weak foreign trade was the decisive factor
for the decline in the economic performance at the end of the
year: in the final quarter of 2012 exports of goods declined
significantly more than imports of goods," the Statistics Office
said in a statement.
The quarterly decline was a tick deeper than a forecast for
a 0.5 percent contraction in a Reuters poll of 45 economists and
was the lowest since Germany's economy contracted by 4.1 percent
in the first quarter of 2009.