Fabian Demicoli

German growth helps eurozone avoid recession

 Strong first-quarter growth in Germany but slump in Italy. – Germany's first-quarter growth was higher than predicted while other eurozone economies stagnated or shrank, according to figures released this morning.

Germany's economy grew 0.5% from the last quarter of 2011, five times as much as predicted by analysts. The growth was driven mainly by exports.

The eurozone economy as a whole stayed flat, avoiding recession.

But Italy's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.8% in the first quarter – the country's biggest drop in three years and worse than expected. France's GDP stayed flat, while the Dutch economy was down 0.2%.

The GDP of the EU's 27 member states grew 0.1% in the first three months of this year.

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