German exports help drive Q4 growth to 0.4 per cent

BERLIN – Exports helped propel the German economy to 0.4 per cent growth in the fourth quarter while domestic demand dropped, underlining concerns that Europe’s largest economy is relying too heavily on foreign trade.

The Federal Statistical Office said Tuesday that exports accounted for 1.1 percentage points of fourth-quarter 2013 gross domestic product, while domestic demand subtracted 0.7 percentage points.

In the same report the office confirmed its preliminary report from earlier in February that the economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter and also 0.4 per cent overall in 2013.

Germany’s trade surplus hit a record high in 2013, underscoring criticism from the U.S., the International Monetary Fund and others that it’s relying too heavily on exports and not doing enough to encourage domestic demand.