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As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) already in its first release of 12 May 2010, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2010 rose 0.2% on the previous quarter, upon price, seasonal and calendar adjustment. At the same time, the result for the fourth quarter of 2009 was slightly corrected upwards, now also showing a 0.2% increase. Although the upward movement observed for the economy in the second quarter of 2009 (+0.4%) and the third quarter of 2009 (+0.7%) was slightly slowed down, it continued despite the relatively cold and long winter.
The economic development in the first quarter of 2010 was supported, among other things, by exports which — upon price, seasonal and calendar adjustment — rose 2.6% on the previous quarter. The fact that the balance of exports and imports nevertheless slowed down GDP growth by a negative contribution of —1.1 percentage points was due to the even larger increase in imports (+6.1%).
However, domestic consumption (contribution to growth: +1.3 percentage points) offset the negative impact of the balance of exports and imports: As regards capital formation, an increase in capital formation in machinery and equipment (+1.6%) and a strong building up of inventories more than offset the decrease in capital formation in construction (—3.8%). Final consumption expenditure of households, too, was down in the reference quarter (—0.8%), while government final consumption expenditure rose by +1.1%.
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