German economy stagnated in fourth quarter

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany’s economy stagnated at the end of the year with zero growth in the fourth quarter. It’s no real surprise but still a disappointment that Europe’s largest economy remains stuck in the doldrums. Manufacturing is in a slump and exports fell. Meanwhile consumer spending and services firms are keeping Germany from sinking into recession. For the full year the economy grew a mediocre 0.6 percent. Germany’s troubles are a central problem for the 19-country eurozone economy and the European Central Bank, which is trying to stimulate flagging growth and inflation.