Official data show German economy grew 1.5 percent last year, much faster than in 2013

Official data show that the German economy, Europe's biggest, grew by 1.5 percent in 2014 after barely expanding the previous year.

The figure released by the Federal Statistical Office Thursday was in line with economists' expectations. In 2013, Germany managed only 0.1 percent growth.

Germany issues a preliminary full-year growth figure before giving an official fourth-quarter growth figure, which is due next month.

The German economy made a fast start last year before contracting slightly in the second quarter and returning to slight growth in the summer. It is expected to gain more momentum in the coming months.