Germany's public debt to shrink further in 2013

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's finance ministry says it expects the country's public debt to fall to 79.5 percent of its annual economic output this year amid strong tax revenues and tight spending controls.

Public debt stood at 81 percent in 2012.

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that this year's overall deficit is expected to be around 0.2 percent of GDP, down from an estimate of 0.5 percent in April. The figures are well below the European Union-mandated maximum of 3 percent.

Europe's biggest economy has fared well in recent years, maintaining low unemployment and modest growth in contrast to many of Germany's neighbors.

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