BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's Finance Ministry says the country's new borrowing in 2012 was lower than expected thanks to a stable economy and low unemployment.
It said Tuesday the government borrowed €22.5 billion last year, about €5.6 billion less than forecast in the revised November budget.
The ministry added that social spending was lower and tax revenues rose, although the economy showed signs of weakening in the fourth quarter. Germany also spent about €4 billion less to service its debt as investors — seeking a safe haven from the eurozone crisis — accepted record-low interest rates.
Germany aims at balancing its budget by 2016 at the latest.
Germany's new borrowing totaled €17.3 in 2011. Last year's borrowing was higher again because it included about €10 billion in capital payments for European financial institutions.