German growth rises at fastest pace in three years

The GDP data appeared to hint at slowing exports due to the relative strength of the euro- Source Shutterstock

The year-on-year growth rate increased to 2.2% from 1.9% the previous quarter and was slightly above the 2.1% reported in the preliminary data.

The continued upswing will likely bolster Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of the September 24 vote, with polls giving her conservatives a double-digit lead over their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats.

Growth was driven by consumer and state spending plus company investment.

Import bills in the reviewed quarter stayed higher.

But the growth rate for the first quarter was revised up to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent, and the April-June expansion marked a 12th consecutive quarter of growth.

"All things considered, we remain optimistic about the eurozone economy, and forecast above-consensus growth of 2.2 percent this year and 2 percent in 2018", said Jack Allen, European economist at Capital Economics.

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Looking ahead, the euro's appreciation in recent months poses a risk to future exports, economists say, as it erodes the global competitiveness of goods produced in the region.

The German economy has so far expanded in 16 of the past 17 quarters - putting it on track to beat a late-1970s record for the longest-ever recovery.

Analysts at LBBW said the quarter-on-quarter increase in imports was just another sign of an economy in robust health and should go some way towards silencing critics of Germany's massive trade surplus.

"The same holds for the export sector, where a stronger euro, weaker-than-expected USA growth and Brexit uncertainty could take some wind out of the sails without bringing exports to a halt", Brzeski said. The economy had expanded 1.9 percent in the first quarter.

"All in all, the German economy is still thriving and now the biggest risk is probably policy complacency", said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING. A detailed GDP report is due August 25.

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