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Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 6:25:02 AM
Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 6:26:05 AM
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's tax take jumped by 1.9 percent on the year in July to 44 billion euros, finance ministry data showed on Thursday, highlighting sound government finances in Europe's largest economy less than five weeks before a federal vote.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the economy a pillar of her campaign to win a third term in office in an election on September 22, seeking to win voters over with campaign slogans such as "solid finances" and "strong economy".
If her centre-right coalition gets re-elected, as the latest opinion polls suggest, it wants to use higher tax revenues to achieve a balanced budget in 2014 for the first time in decades - at a time when many of Germany's peers in the euro zone will probably still be struggling to get their finances in order.
Germany collected 3.2 percent more taxes on the year between January and July, partly due to higher income tax revenues as Germans benefited from a stable labour market and robust wage rises, the finance ministry's monthly report showed.
Preliminary data released last week showed German economic output rose by 0.7 percent in the second quarter, rebounding from stagnation between January and March.
The ministry said this economic recovery would continue in the second half of the year and pointed to increasing demand for industrial products, for which orders rose by 3.8 percent in June, and an improvement in sentiment indicators.
Exports, which have languished due to weak euro zone demand and a slowdown in emerging markets like China that many firms had looked to as an alternative, will pick up during the remainder of the year as the global outlook improves, the ministry said.
Private consumption, one of drivers of growth in the second quarter, will continue to increase and be a major pillar of support for the German economy this year, the ministry said.
While Germans have traditionally been a nation of savers, low interest rates being offered by banks are discouraging saving. Higher wages and a stable jobs market have driven consumer morale to its highest level in nearly six years.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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