BERLIN Indians Ricky Vaughn Jersey , Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The German economy has overcome the headwinds of last year and will regain growth momentum in 2015 thanks to falling oil prices and a weak euro, said an industry lobby group on Wednesday.

Uncertainties from both inside and outside the country, however, remain, showed other reports on the same day.

The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) on Wednesday raised its forecast for German economic growth from 0.8 percent to 1.3 percent in 2015.

"The low oil prices relieve consumers and businesses, the weak euro drives exports, the low interest rate continues to promote construction activities," Martin Wansleben, CEO of DIHK, in a statement.

Gross domestic product (GDP) of Germany increased by 1.5 percent in 2014 mainly thanks to a strong start due to a mild winter. It narrowly avoided a recession during the summer months due to external uncertainties involving the Ukraine crisis and weak growth of the eurozone, only reviving near the year's end.

A recent survey showed that confidence of German consumers, enterprises, and investors were back on an upward trend.

"The economic downturn of last summer is over," said the German economy ministry in its monthly report on Wednesday, "orders and production in industry rose in the fourth quarter and the mood in the companies is brightening."

The ministry said the weak euro and the extremely low price of oil contributed to the revival, and positive trends in the labor market supported consumption.

Despite these stimulus, however, the environment outside Germany remained difficult, the ministry warned.

"The end of the conflicts in Ukraine is not emerging. The political developments in Greece also poses uncertainties," it said.

Tensions between the West and Russia and their tit-for-tat sanctions hit German companies' investment confidence in 2014. German exports to Russia, its third largest trading partner outside Europe behind China and the United States, plummeted by 20 percent last year.

Also on Wednesday, German auto giant Volkswagen reported that delivery of its VW passenger cars in January declined by 2.8 percent month-on-month.

Delivery in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region fell by 1 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, while sales in Russia plunged by 28.3 percent.

"We are facing a challenging year," Volkswagen sales chief Christian Klingler said, "Volkswagen was not immune to the uncertainties in some regions that have continued into the current year."

In its report, DIHK also warned that recent stimulus from low oil prices, weak euro and low interest rates might just be concealing the increasing pressure in Germany.

According to its survey based on 27,000 companies, rising labor cost and a shortage of skilled workers were among the most serious concerns of German businesses.

The mandatory minimum wage, which was introduced across Germany at the start this year, dampens job growth, DIHK's Wansleben said.

In 2015, gross investment would only grew by 1.7 percent, much lower than the rate of 3.1 percent in 2014, the association predicted, while personal consumption would continue to play a key role in supporting the economy with a growth rate of 1.5 percent, higher than the 1.1 percent of growth in last year.

By Alito L. Malinao

MANILA, March 10 (Xinhua) -- In 2014, the Philippines registered an all-time record of 6.2 billion U. S. dollars in inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in what economic managers described as a clear indication that the country is well on the road to higher growth this year.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country's central bank, said that the whole year FDI inflows showed a 65.9 percent increase from the 3.7 billion U.S. dollars net inflows in 2013.

The BSP said that for the month of December 2014 alone, FDI net inflows amounted to 557 million U.S. dollars, more than five-fold the 102 million U.S. dollars recorded in the same month a year ago.

According to the BSP, the net equity capital infusion contributed largely to the increase in FDI net inflows in December as it reversed to 482 million U.S. dollars net inflows from 60 million U.S. dollars net outflows for the same period in 2013.

The BSP said that the robust performance of the Philippines in attracting foreign investments was the result of continued strong investors'confidence in the country's solid macro-economic fundamentals.

The BSP said that net equity capital infusion during the year rose by 206.7 percent to 2 billion U.S. dollars from 664 million U. S. dollars in 2013 on account of the 6.2 percent increase in equity capital placements coupled with the 67.8 percent decline in equity capital withdrawals.

Total investments for 2014 were higher than the average of 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in the four previous years from 2010 to 2013.

The Philippines has historically been the laggard in Southeast Asia with the least in FDIs. In 2013, Singapore received the most with 60.6 billion U.S. dollars, followed by Indonesia with 18.4 billion U.S. dollars, Thailand with 12.99 billion U.S. dollars, and Malaysia with 12.29 billion U.S. dollars, according to data from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretariat.

The FDIs are used to finance construction of new facilities, especially in manufacturing, or for the expansion of existing foreign business operations in the Philippines. They are long-term and job-generating.

On the other hand, foreign portfolio investments, commonly called "hot money," are less dependable sources of capital since they are usually invested in stocks and bonds and can be withdrawn anytime.

Thus the FDI is a more reliable barometer of the confidence of foreign investors in the economy of a certain country.

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