Europe: The number of new internet firms started in Germany in 2007 more than tripled compared with the previous year, according to a survey by tech blog Deutsche-startups.de. Some 323 new web firms were registered last year, up from 97 the previous year, and 50 in 2005, although it looks like the growth will slow this year. The 2007 total was the highest in the last five years. Most new online startups are focused on social communities and shopping. The German economy expanded by 2.5 percent in 2007, rounding off the strongest two-year burst of activity since the country re-unified in 1990. But most analysts expect German economic growth to slow to around 1.7 percent this year. It’s hard to say what happened last year in the UK and Ireland, but I would say the big period of growth was probably mid-2006 to mid 2007.