German authorities say the country's economy, Europe's biggest, grew by 1.7 percent last year. The performance was in line with the government's forecast.

The Federal Statistical Office said Thursday that growth in 2015 was slightly faster than the previous year's 1.6 percent.

Exports grew 5.4 percent, faster than the previous year's 4 percent. However, they were outpaced by imports, whose growth accelerated to 5.7 percent from 3.7 percent.

Private consumption was up 1.9 percent.

The office did not immediately give a fourth-quarter growth estimate. It is scheduled to issue an official quarterly growth figure next month.