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German economy likely slowed in late 2017 but will be strong in 2018 - ministry

A construction site in Berlin.

A construction site in Berlin.

German economic growth probably slowed at the end of 2017 but strong order intake and positive business expectations suggest Europe's largest economy will continue to be robust this year, the Economy Ministry said in its monthly report.

"The German economy is experiencing a strong upturn," the ministry said, though it added: "At the end of 2017 the strong economic dynamics probably weakened a bit."

Data published on Thursday showed the German economy grew by 2.2 percent last year, its strongest rate of expansion since 2011, with consumer spending - boosted by ultra-low borrowing costs, record high employment and rising wages - providing the biggest impetus.

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