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Dow Jones Newswires: German economy contracted in fourth quarter, but less than initially estimated

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Germany’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2021 because of a rise in Covid-19 cases and the related reimposition of restrictions, according to a second estimate published Friday by the German Federal Statistical Office.

Gross domestic product fell by an adjusted 0.3% from the previous quarter, Destatis said. This contraction was smaller than the 0.7% fall of the first estimate and economists’ expectations of a 0.7% drop in a Wall Street Journal survey.

GDP expanded 1.8% on year in the fourth quarter on a calendar and price-adjusted basis, more than the 1.4% forecast by economists polled by the Journal.

GDP in the quarter was down 1.1% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, the quarter before the Covid-19 crisis began.

The restrictions imposed in the course of the fourth Covid-19 wave put the brakes on household final consumption expenditure, Destatis said. After two quarters with considerable increases, household consumption fell 1.8% on the quarter in the fourth quarter after adjustment for price, seasonal and calendar variations.

Government final consumption expenditure increased by 1.0%. Gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment was up 0.9% on quarter. Foreign trade increased in the quarter. Exports of goods and services were up 4.8% compared with the third quarter of 2021, after price, seasonal and calendar adjustment. Total imports rose slightly more, 5.1%, Destatis said.

Write to Maria Martinez at maria.martinez@wsj.com

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