German economy off to a good start in 2018: ministry

FILE PHOTO: Cars and containers are pictured at a shipping terminal in the harbour of the German northern town of Bremerhaven, Germany, late October 8, 2012. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Strong sentiment indicators and buoyant foreign demand for German industrial goods point to a good start for Europe’s largest economy in 2018, the economy ministry said on Wednesday.

“As capacity utilization in industry continues to increase, high external demand should also stimulate domestic investment in equipment,” the ministry said in its monthly report.

“Given the good foreign trade conditions, including a favorable financing environment, the solid upswing should continue on a broad basis driven by domestic and foreign demand,” the ministry added.

The report followed growth data released earlier on Wednesday that showed the economy expanded by 0.6 percent on the quarter in the final three months of 2017. Full-year growth for 2017 was confirmed at 2.2 percent, the strongest rate since 2011.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers