German Economy Is Back on Growth Path, BdB Banking Group Says

Germany’s BdB banking group, which represents lenders such as Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, predicts “moderate growth” in Europe’s largest economy in 2013 after a slump at the end of last year.

“After a short pause, the German economy is back on its growth path,” Hans-Joachim Massenberg, a member of the management board of Berlin-based BdB, said today in an e-mailed statement. He forecasts an expansion of 0.7 percent this year.

Signs are mounting that Germany’s economy has begun to recover from its fourth-quarter contraction. Confidence among businesses and investors is improving, factory orders and industrial production are forecast to have risen for a second month in January and unemployment unexpectedly declined for a third month in February.

At the same time, at least six of the region’s 17 economies remain mired in recession. The European Central Bank, which in December predicted the region to shrink 0.3 percent in 2013, will present new economic forecasts tomorrow.

“Despite first signs of hope,” the situation in the euro area remains “subdued,” Massenberg said, adding that companies won’t start to invest until confidence in the future of the currency union improves. “After the Italian election, new uncertainties have been flaring up,” he said.

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