German economy gathers momentum in first quarter

This met economists' forecasts and meant Germany's economy comfortably outpaced the USA, which expanded by 0.7% annualized in the first quarter.

Private households and the state had increased their consumption expenditures slightly at the beginning of the year, it added.

Employment rates in the country are at a record high.

Germany's economy has been enjoying a sweet spot of late, marked by rising growth, expanding trade, and falling unemployment. Also, the German consumer price inflation (CPI) for the month of April, came in line with anticipations but was defied by market participants.

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For Italy, the third-biggest economy in the 19-member bloc, the national central bank has projected quarterly growth of 0.2 percent. Preliminary data are due next Tuesday.

Although growth slowed, France's economy added almost 50,000 new jobs in the first three months of the year, marking seven consecutive quarters of net new job creation, data from the Insee statistics agencies showed on Friday.

Germany GDP was estimated to have expanded at a 0.6% clip in the first three months of the year, according to Destatis, up from a 0.% pace in the final quarter of last year and largely in-line with analysts' estimates.

Continued growth in wages and increased investments by businesses that feel confident about the future have the potential to drive the economy even faster, Mr Hense said.

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