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Germany to Avoid Recession, Grow 0.8% This Year, BGA Says

The German economy will avoid a recession and expand 0.8 percent this year, a company survey by the BGA association of wholesalers and exporters showed.

German wholesale trade will rise to an all-time high of 887 billion euros ($1.1 trillion) even as sales grow just 1 percent in real terms, the BGA said today in an e-mailed statement. Wholesalers will add 5,000 new jobs this year after hiring 20,000 people in 2011, the BGA said.

“Based on the current sentiment, we can’t and don’t want to share the economic pessimism that can often be seen,” Anton Boerner, the Berlin-based BGA’s president, said in the statement. “We trust in the ability of German businesses to adjust and perform and are firmly convinced that they can master the challenges.”

Europe’s largest economy is cooling as slower global growth and weaker demand from debt-stricken euro-area neighbors erode foreign sales. Gross domestic product increased 3 percent last year after gaining 3.7 percent in 2010, the most since German reunification two decades ago, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today.

BGA’s wholesale business climate indicator for the first half of 2012 fell to 128.5 from 130.1 in the second half of last year. A sub-index for the current business situation declined to 133.4 from 133.6 while a sub-measure of business expectations dropped to 123.6 from 126.7. Figures above 100 reflect a “positive” assessment, the BGA said.

“There can be no talk of a recession, even if we have to say goodbye to high growth rates this year,” Boerner said.

The BGA didn’t say how many companies participated in the poll and what the margin of error was. It didn’t say when the survey was conducted.

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