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Germany thriving

The German government has said its economy will grow much more quickly than previously expected this year, as it soars ahead despite the eurozone debt crisis.

Its economy is set to expand by 2.3pc this year, the latest official forecast said.

This was a sharp hike from the 1.8pc estimated in October as Europe's powerhouse continued an impressive bounce back from a deep recession.

"The upswing is on firm ground," said Chancellor Angela Merkel, above.