German industrial output falls

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News was released this week that German industrial output fell in December 2012. This follows reports which revealed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Germany fell by around a quarter of a per cent in the fourth quarter of last year.

The combination of these two factors has caused panic over the direction which Germany’s economy is heading in general.

Germany had so far managed to buck the worldwide trend and performed reasonably well compared to the US and the rest of Europe. The country also received widespread praise for managing to produce 3% growth over the course of 2011, this was double that of the US and the rest of the euro-zone.

This was only a small decline from the 3.7% the country experienced the previous year. The growth in 2010 was actually the fastest since Germany’s reunification in 1990.

This was driven largely by investment and consumer spending, as well as falling levels of unemployment. Figures show that investment in the country increased by 8.3% compared to 2010, and consumer spending went up by 1.5% - the fastest for five years.

But those strong performances look set to be a thing of the past as experts and economists predict a tough year ahead for Germany.

Economists are expecting to see a huge decline in growth this year, with some even predicting stagnation.

If this happens, it could have a significant impact on the recovery of the euro-zone.

Transferring money to Germany

If you are looking to invest in Germany, think carefully about how you plan to transfer money to Germany. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are looking to send money to Germany – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment - be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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