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Originally published Monday, February 18, 2013 at 3:14 AM

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Bundesbank: German economy to avoid recession

German's central bank says the country's economy is on track to avoid a recession as it is showing signs of growth in the first three months of the year.

The Associated Press

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FRANKFURT —

German's central bank says the country's economy is on track to avoid a recession as it is showing signs of growth in the first three months of the year.

Europe's largest economy shrank 0.6 percent in the last quarter of 2012 - two straight quarters of falling output is a common definition of recession.

The Bundesbank says in its monthly report out Monday that increasing business optimism and easing fears about the government debt crisis among the 17 European Union euro countries mean business may become more willing to invest and expand. That means that "a plus in total economic production can be expected for the first quarter of 2013."

A growing German economy could help speed the recovery of the 17-country eurozone, which is mired in recession.

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