CNBC Global CFO Council

German growth 'nothing to hang our hats on': Deutsche Post

Signs of improvement in economy: Deutsche Post CFO

The German economy might be growing and there are signs of a stabilization in Europe and beyond, but it's nothing to "hang our hats on," the chief financial officer of Deutsche Post DHL told CNBC.

"We do see some signs of improvement [in the global economic outlook]," Lawrence Rosen said, speaking to CNBC from New York.

"We're coming from a period of pretty long period of below-low trend growth now we think GDP growth for the whole world is going to be around 2 percent this year. It looks like the U.S. is improving, Europe seems to be stabilizing at least at a low level and Asia too seems to be stabilizing if not improving a bit."

The German mail and logistics giant operates in more than 220 countries and, in 2012, generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros ($74 billion). The latest earnings figures from the company on November 12, however, showed that although net profit rose almost 6 percent in the third-quarter, a strong euro was weighing on sales.

(Read more: Deutsche Post: No recovery in sight, earnings miss)

Rather than being a reflection of Europe's economy, however, the strong euro has been the result of a weaker dollar on the back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus program.

Indeed, growth data from the euro zone shows an anaemic picture of growth at best and a sliding back towards recession at worst. In the third quarter the 17-strong bloc -- in which Germany is the strongest economy -- grew by just 0.1 percent in the third quarter, marking a slowdown from an expansion of 0.3 percent in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Germany's economy grew by 0.3 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter, marking a 1.1 percent increase year-on-year. In addition, other data released last week showed a marked increase in German business confidence and activity.

Rosen told CNBC that while Germany's current growth data was better than some other European countries, "we can't talk about strong growth either." "Most of the growth in Germany has been export driven and we're starting to see some small signs of improving consumption but nothing we can really hang our hats on," he warned.

In a survey of 33 chief financial officers (CFOs) from Europe and Asia, which was carried out by CNBC in October, two-thirds of the business leaders questioned said they believed the global economy was steadily improving and over half said they would hire actively over the next six months.

(Read more: Business confidence booms, hiring returns: Global CFO Council)

Deutsche Post DHL employs 470,000 people worldwide. Rosen said the company would expect to see some "small growth" in headcount, driven by the company's new supply chain contracts around the world which were a "labor intensive business."

- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt