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Apr 22, 3:16 AM EDT

German tax income jumps in March, 1st quarter as country's economy gathers momentum

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BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's Finance Ministry says the government's tax income rose sharply in March and saw a healthy overall first-quarter rise as Europe's biggest economy picked up momentum.

The ministry said Tuesday that Germany's tax take totaled some 55.4 billion euros ($76.4 billion) last month - 7.2 percent higher than a year earlier, when unusually persistent winter weather weighed down the economy. In the first quarter, the tax income climbed 3.7 percent to 140 billion euros.

Low unemployment has helped bolster the government's finances - income tax receipts were up 7.5 percent in March.

The Finance Ministry said indicators point to a "broad-based economic upswing." Factory orders and industrial production have been growing and business confidence is high, despite some worries about the possible impact of the crisis in Ukraine.

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