The Associated Press August 23, 2010, 12:46PM ET

EU hoping for German domestic demand to pick up

European Union Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn says he hopes German domestic demand will pick up and push growth in the euro-zone as a whole.

Rehn told the Handelsblatt daily in an interview for its Tuesday edition that, if German domestic demand increases, France, Spain and other countries would be able to export more to Germany, Europe's largest economy.

He says this could "help equalize the imbalances in the euro-zone," adding that he thinks this is likely to happen.

The German economy grew by 2.2 percent in the second quarter, mostly thanks to exports to Asia. In contrast, domestic demand and consumer spending have remained fairly slow.

The EU commission has voiced concern on and off that Germany should do more to increase domestic demand.

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