German GDP growth accelerates in Q1

Although growth slowed, France's economy added almost 50,000 new jobs in the first three months of the year, marking seven consecutive quarters of net new job creation, data from the Insee statistics agencies showed on Friday.

Destatis is scheduled to issue Germany's final inflation data and GDP data for the first quarter in the pre-European session on Friday at 2:00 am ET.

Household and state spending were strong, while firms invested money in construction and equipment, said German statistics authority Destatis.

Fear that trade barriers could spring up with Britain, one of Europe's largest economies and a key trading partner for Germany, meant that Brexit sapped the confidence of businesspeople, investors and consumers alike.

Nonfarm private-sector payrolls rose by 49,400, or 0.3%, in the first quarter, after rising an upwardly revised 67,300, or 0.4%, in the previous quarter, Insee said in a first estimate for the first three months of 2017.

As per Reuters polls, the GDP growth forecasts for the first 3 months of the year was in line with the consensus forecast.

The increase, according to figures adjusted for price, seasonal and calendar variations, followed 0.4 percent growth in the last quarter of 2016.

That was roughly the same growth rate as in the third and fourth quarters of 2016.

The U.K., Japan, France and Italy also recorded lower growth rates than Germany.

The positive development was boosted by higher investments and domestic consumption, as well as booming exports, it said.

  • Wendy Palmer