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German economic growth drops in 4Q of 2012

BERLIN (AP) -- Official statistics show German gross domestic product shrank by a larger-than-expected 0.6 percent in the final quarter in 2012 as the European financial crisis took its toll on the continent's largest economy.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday said the 0.6 percent fourth quarter drop over the previous quarter was primarily due to a drop in exports. Experts had been predicting a 0.4 percent or 0.5 percent drop.

The drop came after the economy grew for the first three quarters of the year, and the statistical office says the economy grew by 0.7 percent for the year.