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BERLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The German economy expanded by 1.9 percent in 2016, the strongest rate in five years and an improvement on the previous year, a preliminary estimate from the Federal Statistics Office showed on Thursday.
Europe's largest economy is benefiting from rising private consumption and increased state spending on refugees, compensating for a weaker contribution from trade amid sluggish demand from major trading partners and emerging markets.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.8 percent for 2016 after an expansion rate of 1.7 percent in the previous year. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Josepn Nasr)