German economy, Europe's biggest and the only bright spot in an otherwise bleak euro zone fiscal scene, grew at an impressive rate of 3.6 percent in 2010, official data showed.

A strong show in exports, coupled with an improved domestic demand, catapulted the economy to the fastest growth rate since the reunification, the Federal Statistical Office's preliminary annual data showed.

In 2009, the Germany economy had contacted 4.7 percent.

A strong rebound in domestic demand was instrumental in bringing the economy back to pre-crisis levels of growth, officials said. ...what was striking in 2010 was the fact that economic growth was not only based on foreign trade, but also on domestic demand, a Federal Statistical Office statement said.

Though Germany outshined its peers in a downcast global scenario, the raging sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone will put brakes on its growth this year and the next. According to the German central bank's estimates, the economy will grow two percent in 2011 and 1.5 percent in the next.

A sizeable drop of more than 260,000 in the number of unemployed people boosted consumer spending, leading to a revamp in manufacturing and related sectors. Though Germany lost the position of the world's top exporter to China last year, the spurt in domestic consumption helped businesses.