The German economy contracted 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2018 relative to the second, according to provisional data released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destasis) on Wednesday.

It was the first drop in the country's GDP since the first quarter of 2015 and can be mainly attributed to external factors, according to the Destasis press release.

The economy had grown in the first half of the year, with the GDP rising 0.4 percent in Q1 and 0.5 percent in Q2.

According to provisional estimates, exports fell in Q3 while imports kept growing.

Investment grew in machinery and equipment and construction, while household consumption declined and government consumption expenditure was slightly higher than the previous quarter.

Compared to the same period last year, the German economy grew 1.1 percent in Q3 after registering 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent growth year-on-year in Q1 and Q2 respectively.

Calendar adjusted GDP rose by 1.1% year-on-year in the third quarter, following increases of 2.1 percent in Q1 and 2 percent in Q2.

Detailed and final GDP data for the third quarter is set to be released on Nov. 23.