German economy grows slightly in 3Q, staving off recession

A picture taken on November 11, 2019 shows steam rising from the coking plant at the ThyssenKrupp steel production in Duisburg. (AFP Photo)

Germany defied forecasts of a second quarterly contraction in a row in July-September with inching economic growth, official data showed Thursday, narrowly escaping a recession but with no all-clear for its trade war-battered industries.

The German economy returned to modest growth in the July-September period, averting a widely-feared recession.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday gross domestic product grew 0.1% compared with the previous quarter. It says, however, that the economy in the second quarter contracted 0.2%, greater than the 0.1% previously reported.

Two straight quarters of declining output is a frequently used definition of recession.

A further contraction in the third quarter had been widely expected. Still, the German government's independent panel of economic advisers said last week there was no sign of a "broad, deep recession" or current need for a stimulus program.

Services companies and the jobs market have held up well in Germany, but the industrial sector, led by automobiles and factory machinery, has seen declines amid trade tensions.

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