Germany has Europe's most robust economy, but now even its economic fortunes are shrinking in the face of the eurozone recession.
Berlin said Tuesday that its economy contracted one-half of one percent in the last three months of 2012, its biggest downturn in nearly three years. Germany said that cut its economic growth for last year to seven-tenths of a percent.
It expects growth to diminish further — to four-tenths of a percent — in 2013, down from an earlier projection of a one percent advance.
The economy in the 17-nation eurozone contracted in the April-to-September period last year and forecasters say that likely continued in the waning months of 2012. Sharp economic decline in some euro nations — such as in Greece, Spain and Italy — has often been somewhat offset by Germany's powerhouse economy.
But in the fourth quarter last year, German exports, imports and investment slowed, as did consumer spending.