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German central bank expects feeble growth in second quarter

May 20, 2019
Cars for export and import are stored in front of containers on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at the harbor in Bremerhaven, Germany, with 2 million vehicles per annum one of the largest automobile hubs in the world. US President Donald Trump is delaying any decision to impose tariffs on car and auto-part imports for now. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s central bank says it expects the country’s economy, Europe’s biggest, to turn in a feeble performance in the current quarter after returning to growth in the winter.

Solid consumer spending and a construction boom helped the economy grow by 0.4% in the January-March period after contracting slightly in last year’s third quarter and stagnating in the fourth quarter.

In its monthly report published Monday, the Bundesbank said the overall tendency remains weak. It said that “against this background, German economic output in the spring of 2019 will likely barely exceed the level it reached in the winter, which was supported by various special effects.”

The German government’s full-year growth forecast currently stands at 0.5%, compared with 1.8% late last year. It sees growth accelerating to 1.5% in 2020.

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