Berlin (AFP) - Germany said Wednesday its robust economy would fuel record employment this year and next as well as boost consumer spending and industrial investment.
The economy ministry said in its autumn forecast that gross domestic product would expand 0.5 percent this year and 1.7 percent in 2014, confirming reports from sources on Tuesday and underlining the rude health of Europe's top economic power.
The unemployment rate is set to hit 6.9 percent this year and fall to 6.8 percent in 2014 -- far below the 12 percent reported by the crisis-hit eurozone, the report said.
"The German economy is again on a stable course for growth," outgoing Economy Minister Philipp Roesler told reporters.
"The foundations of this growth are economic forces at home: the mood of German companies is good, they are again investing more in equipment and construction. Employment and income are growing significantly and bolstering private consumption."
He added: "Economic momentum will speed up sharply next year."
The report said that the German economy would add 235,000 jobs this year and another 180,000 next year.
Disposable income for German households is due to jump 2.1 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2014, which Roesler said was expected to spur consumer spending.
The ministry said that the global economy remained "fragile" and that demand in key markets for exports, long the backbone of the German economy, were "muted" but improving.
German exports were thus expected to grow by 0.3 percent this year but jump by 3.8 percent next year.
Imports are seen as rising 1.1 percent in 2013 and 4.5 percent in 2014 as the recovery gathers pace.
Roesler is due to be replaced following a general election last month that saw his Free Democrats ousted from parliament for the first time since their founding after World War II.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats joined the second biggest German party, the Social Democrats, for the formal start of coalition negotiations Wednesday, which they hope to wrap up by Christmas.
Affected by the debt and recession troubles of southern eurozone members, the export-led German economy saw growth slow to 0.7 percent last year, and the recovery was hampered by an unusually harsh and long winter in 2012-13.
The latest forecast brings the government almost in line with a more optimistic prediction of 1.8 percent GDP growth next year, issued last week by four leading economic institutes.
The International Monetary Fund has pencilled in German economic growth of 1.4 percent in 2014 after 0.5 percent in 2013.