German and French economies grow in third quarter

Both the German and French economies recorded growth in the third quarter of the year, according to official data. Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in the quarter, and growth in the April-to-June period was also revised up to 0.3% from 0.1%. The annual growth rate was 2.5%, down from the second quarter's 3% rate. In France, the economy grew by 0.4%, better than expected, although its second quarter figure was revised downwards to show GDP fell by 0.1%. The French statistics institute said increased household spending was behind the rise in the third quarter, while Germany's statistics office said domestic demand was the main reason for its growth. Most observers expect the German economy to contract sharply in coming months. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated on Monday that GDP would shrink by 1.4% in the last quarter of 2011. Last week, Germany's panel of economic advisers, known as the "wise men", said while they expected 3% growth this year, they were expecting 0.9% next year, just under the latest government forecast of 1%.