BERLIN / LONDON: Europe's two largest economies, Germany and the UK, both posted better-than-expected numbers this week.

  • German economic minister Michael Glos reported that the nation's burgeoning economy - driven by strong exports and growing retail spending - is expected to grow by 2.3% in 2007, substantially bettering the ministry's earlier forecast of 1.7%.

  • In the UK, the Office for National Statistics revealed that first quarter GDP grew by 0.7% versus Q4 2006, marginally ahead of the predicted 0.6%. On an annual basis the economy grew by 2.8%, in line with forecasts.

    But ING analyst James Knightly sounded a note of caution: "We believe that we may be at or close to the peak in UK growth. Manufacturing and service sector surveys suggest that growth has stabilised and may actually start to soften."

    Data sourced from BBC Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff