German consumers are spending again, sparking Europe’s economic engine back into life.
Fourth quarter eurozone GDP rose by 0.3%, compared with the previous quarter, thanks to a big boost to growth in Germany, the region’s biggest economy. Third quarter growth was 0.2%.
German growth accelerated to 0.7% in the fourth quarter as households recovered from a loss of confidence triggered by the Ukraine crisis in the middle of last year.
Officials noted a marked increase in consumer spending, supported by high levels of employment — there were 412,000 more Germans in work than a year earlier — rising wages and cheap oil.
“Germany is earning back its moniker as the ‘powerhouse of Europe’,” commented Tom Beevers, CEO of Stockviews.
Germany accounts for about 30% of the eurozone GDP and its economic health is vital to the region. Other countries continue to struggle, however, most notably the second and third biggest players — France and Italy.