(Bloomberg) -- Construction and trade prevented a recession in Germany at the start of the year, setting off a recovery that should eventually be led by consumers.

Building activity was bolstered by warm winter weather in the first quarter, helping boost gross domestic product by 0.2% from the previous three months. Net exports also contributed to the expansion, while domestic demand was held back by declines in public and private spending.

Recent data suggest Europe’s largest economy can sustain — and maybe even strengthen — the momentum that’s been building. Confidence among consumers, businesses and investors is improving, and private-sector activity increased at the fastest pace in a year in May.

READ MORE: Euro Zone at Turning Point Needs Consumers to Get Out, Spend

With inflation only barely above 2%, wages rising sharply and a sturdy labor market, shoppers should soon help fire growth. Analysts polled by Bloomberg see GDP rising by 0.1% in the second quarter, while the Bundesbank predicts a small gain.

Subdued global trade, elevated borrowing costs and increased policy uncertainty are still weighing on demand in the manufacturing and construction sectors, the central bank warned in its latest monthly report. Steelmaker Salzgitter said recently that profits this year may fall short of expectations.

--With assistance from Joel Rinneby and Kristian Siedenburg.

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