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German economy sees 0.8 percent growth in 3rd quarter

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's economy accelerated to growth of 0.8 percent in the third quarter, official data showed Tuesday, exceeding economists' expectations.

Quarter-on-quarter growth in Europe's biggest economy picked up from 0.6 percent in the previous three-month period, the Federal Statistical Office said. Economists had forecast that it would remain steady at 0.6 percent.

Germany's performance was helped by exports and investment in machinery and other equipment, the statistical office said. It was the third consecutive quarter of robust expansion; in the first quarter, the economy grew by 0.9 percent.

"Even if the economy would stagnate in the final quarter of the year, GDP growth for the entire year would still come in at 2.4 percent," the highest since 2011, said Carsten Brzeski, an economist at ING-DiBa.

He added that "there is very little reason to fear a sudden end to the current performance," with low eurozone interest rates offering an ongoing boost, a strong labor market and increasing wages, and the likelihood of more spending by a new German government.