Germany has narrowly avoided a technical recession after it posted flat growth in the fourth quarter, raising concerns that Europe's largest economy is continuing to slow down.
Preliminary data showed growth of 0.0 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, Germany's federal statistics office Destatis said Thursday, below a Reuters forecast of 0.1 percent..
Destatis added that "positive contributions" in the fourth quarter came from domestic demand "however, development of foreign trade did not make a positive contribution to growth in the fourth-quarter."
The latest growth data from Germany come after a period of domestic tumult, particularly for its beleaguered car industry, and global concerns over trade, import tariffs and growth.
The flat fourth quarter data shows that Germany has narrowly avoided a recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of declining growth. It does not bode well for Europe, however, which sees Germany as a traditional growth driver in the region.
"After a dynamic start into the first half of the year (+0.4 percent in the first quarter, +0.5 percent in the second quarter), a small dip (-0.2 percent in the third quarter, 0.0 percent in the fourth quarter) was recorded in the second half of the year. For the whole year of 2018, this was an increase of 1.4 percent," Destatis said.