Spiegel Online international
reported that the worldwide economic downturn negatively impacted the German economy with GDP declining by approximately 0.25 percent in the last quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter.
According to Spiegel, though new figures released show overall growth for Germany in 2011, Economists said the debt crisis and austerity measures
in many EU countries would cause export-driven German economy to contract further in the first six months of 2012.
"Germany could slide into a recession for the first half of the year," they said, according to Spiegel, adding that success in solving the euro crisis
could however enliven the German economy and export trade.
The Washington Post notes
"Germany has been the strongest-performing economy during the region’s two-year debt crisis." Only the economies of Sweden, Poland, Finland, and the Baltic States outpaced Germany within the European Union last year, Voice of America adds