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German economic growth was probably minimal in Q4: finance ministry
[BERLIN] German economic output probably increased only slightly in the fourth quarter of 2015, but leading indicators suggest Europe's largest economy will soon recover, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
The Statistics Office is due to publish preliminary fourth-quarter gross domestic product data on Feb 12.
Earlier this month, it said GDP grew by 1.7 per cent in 2015, adding that the full-year figure pointed to growth of around 0.25 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with 0.3 per cent in the third.
In its monthly report, the finance ministry said slower growth from October to December was largely caused by weak industrial production, but rising orders suggested industrial output would pick up in the coming months.
Services had continued to contribute to growth at the end of 2015, it said.
The ministry said the external environment remained tough, with considerable geopolitical tension and a slowdown in some emerging markets like China, Brazil and Russia.
It said the recent slump on China's financial markets may mean a slowing Chinese economy was weighing on the global economy more than had been expected until now. That may hold back German companies by reducing their sales prospects, the ministry said.
China's markets began the year with precipitous falls and a sharp depreciation in the yuan. Selling pressure has persisted as economic data confirmed slowing growth and deteriorating business conditions, weakening confidence in stocks .
Turning to the labour market, the ministry said that while refugees would be gradually integrated into the job market, their effect on employment would at first be minimal, and unemployment was likely to rise modestly over the course of the year.
Germany took in a record 1.1 million migrants last year, many of them fleeing war and poverty in countries Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.