Europe's biggest economy has emerged from recession faster than forecast as Germany on Thursday reported second-quarter growth of an unexpected 0.3 percent on the first quarter of the year.
The country had not seen positive growth since the first quarter of 2008 and the news gives conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel a boost with just over six weeks to go until a general election, the federal statistics office announced Thursday.
The growth rate caught analysts by surprise as they had expected a 0.2 percent drop of GDP in the second quarter.
The statistics office also adjusted the GDP figure for the first quarter, saying it dropped 3.5 percent versus 3.8 percent as announced earlier.
It said the return to growth was due to "positive momentum from personal and public expenditure as well as the building sector," following two 81-billion-euro (115-billion dollar) government stimulus packages.
Merkel's Christian Union bloc has been flying high in the polls ahead of the September 27 election with a double-digit lead over its chief rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in her unwieldy left-right coalition.
SPD chancellor-candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current vice-chancellor and foreign minister, has struggled to portray Merkel's economic policies as "aimless" and Thursday's sunny data will make that task even more difficult, commentators said.