German GDP rose 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, returning the German economy to growth, and showing it has grown by 1.7 per cent from a year ago.
The French economy, meanwhile, recorded zero growth in the first three months of the year, and figures released later today are expected to show the eurozone as a whole has returned to recession.
The German figures were well ahead of those forecast, and show that Germany has avoided a double-dip recession. German analysts Destatis said that a rise in exports and higher domestic consumption had given the economy a boost, and had offset a decline in investment.
Car makers are benefitting from demand in growing markets like China, and falling unemployment and rising wages are helping domestic demand. Economists hope that the change in direction in Germany will help drive the eurozone out of recession.