Europe's largest economy is weathering the eurozone storm better than forecasters had expected. The German economy grew 0.3% in the second quarter, slightly more than predicted, thanks to strong consumer spending and a rise in exports beyond the eurozone, BusinessWeek reports. The French economy recorded zero growth for the third quarter in a row, but with at least seven other eurozone countries in recession, analysts had expected it to shrink instead of flatline.
The 17-country eurozone's economy as a whole is believed to have shrunk during the quarter and few believe Germany can avoid being dragged down sooner or later, notes AP. "We do not think that Germany on its own can keep the entire eurozone afloat," an analyst at ABN Amro tells the BBC. "Despite the positive growth number for Germany, we expect total eurozone GDP to have contracted by around 0.4% as severe fiscal austerity is pulling most economies into recession."