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Now Germany is feeling the pinch

GROWTH in the German economy has slowed further, heaping more pressure on the struggling eurozone, including Ireland.

The German economy grew by 0.2pc in the third quarter compared with the previous three month period, slowing further as a result of the bloc's debt crisis.

The figure released today by the Federal Statistical Office compares with growth of 0.3pc in the second quarter and 0.5pc in the first three months of this year.

But the growth rate is still a little better than the 0.1pc growth that was widely expected in Europe's biggest economy.

Germany enjoyed robust growth over the past two years, but the debt crisis that has pushed several European countries into recession is hitting confidence as well as exports.

Third-quarter gross domestic product figures for the full 17-nation euro zone were due later today.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected Germany to register growth of 0.2pc.

Recent data have suggested that Germany, until now largely immune from the crisis, is increasingly feeling the pinch.

The statistics office said that the positive drivers of the economy "came from abroad" with exports outpacing imports.

Domestically, private and public consumption appeared to have held up, as did construction, but investments were down.

Unlike most of its eurozone partners in the 17-nation eurozone, Germany has until now escaped the worst effects of the three-year crisis that has threatened to tear the bloc apart.