BERLIN, May 24 (Xinhua) -- German economic growth was reduced by half in the first three months on weak trade and falling government spending, data from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Thursday.
According to the figures, German gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous one.
It was only half of the quarter-on-quarter growth of 0.6 percent in Q4 2017 and marked the weakest growth since Q3 2016.
Still, it's the 15th quarter-on-quarter growth in a row, contributing to the longest upswing phase since 1991.
In the reported quarter, German exports of goods and services were down 1.0 percent compared to the last quarter of 2017, registering the first decrease since Q3 2016. Imports decreased by 1.1 percent, marking the first drop since Q2 2016.
The balance of exports and imports had a downward effect with a 0.1 percentage points drop on economic growth.
Positive contributions came from domestic demand. The gross fixed capital formation in machinery and equipment rose 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 and gross fixed capital formation in construction soared by 2.1 percent.
Also, household final consumption expenditures increased slightly by 0.4 percent. Government final consumption expenditures, however, decreased for the first time in almost five years by 0.5 percent, which also had a downward effect on GDP growth.
Year-on-year, the German economy grew by a calendar-adjusted 2.3 percent in the first quarter.
The latest GDP data added to signals that showed the growing momentum of the Europe's largest economy is coming to an end.