The German economy grew in the first three quarters of 2012 (by 0.5 percent, 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent), but clearly lost steam in the process. The Federal Statistical Office also reports an increase of 0.7 percent for the whole of 2012. Compared with a year earlier, however, the gross domestic product did not go down in the fourth quarter of 2012: the price-adjusted GDP was 0.1 percent higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011.
In a quarter-on-quarter comparison, signals from the domestic territory were rather mixed according to provisional calculations: household and government final consumption expenditure went up slightly. In contrast, gross fixed capital formation in construction decreased a bit and gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was down markedly on the third quarter of 2012. The decline of the gross domestic product at the end of 2012 was mainly due to the comparably weak German foreign trade: in the final quarter of 2012, exports of goods went down much more than imports of goods.
The economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2012 was achieved by 41.9 million persons in employment, which was an increase of 320,000 persons or 0.8 percent on a year earlier.