German economy slows as weak trade bites

Germany has suffered a growth slowdown after being hit by weak trade.
The eurozone’s largest economy expanded by just 0.3% in the first three months of this year, official figures show.
That’s a sharp slowdown compared to Germany’s 0.6% in the final quarter of 2017. It is also below the 0.4% which economists had expected.
The Federal Statistics Office says:
The German economy continued to grow at the beginning of the year, though at a slower pace.
The slowdown was triggered by “less dynamic” foreign trade, as “both exports and imports decreased compared with the previous quarter”.
Government spending also fell, for the firs time in five years, dragging growth back.
But capital investment did rise during the quarter, suggesting companies are still investing in equipment and factories.
Although Germany is obviously still growing, these figures do indicate that the eurozone economy has lost some steam in recent months.
They also suggests that fears of a trade war, triggered by Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium, are causing worrying ripples in the global economy.