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Germany slashes 2013 growth forecast to 0.4 pct

Published: 16 Jan 2013 12:37 GMT+01:00

Europe's powerhouse economy should expand by 0.4 percent in 2013, Economy

Minister Philipp Rösler said, a sharp downwards revision from a previous forecast of 1.0 percent. In 2014, growth should be 1.6 percent, he said.

"There is every reason for confidence," Rösler said in a statement as he presented the government's annual economic report.

"We believe that the weak phase this winter will be overcome in the rest of the year and that our economy will get back into gear," added the minister.

Germany has until recently fared better than most of its debt-stricken eurozone partners in the crisis but the economy began to slow sharply at the end of last year.

Data published on Tuesday showed Germany's powerhouse economy grew by a mere 0.7 percent in 2012 after a stellar 2011 when GDP expanded by 3.0 percent. And the economy seemed to have slammed abruptly into reverse in the fourth quarter of the year, as officials estimate a contraction of 0.5 percent.

Germany has been hit not only by the woes of its eurozone trading partners but also by a slowing global economy that has reduced demand for its all-important exports.

Nevertheless, unemployment remains at low levels for the moment, although analysts have warned that this too cannot last forever.

Rösler himself said there would be around 60,000 more people unemployed in 2013 than in 2012 but said this period of weakness would be "temporary."

"In the course of 2013, growth should noticeably pick up. It will be driven primarily by domestic demand," he added.

Germany would achieve its goal of registering a structurally balanced budget in 2014, Rösler said.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:07 January 16, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
If the government can't bury this in election year what is the real story? Oh Angie, what have you done? Idiot.
17:31 January 16, 2013 by smart2012
Germany was "booming"n long long time ago. Finally BILD will not be able to hide it. Where did the "stand alone" strategy bring to? Well done Verkel, and Buba, and Bild! this is the pay back
18:42 January 16, 2013 by Tonne
So growth, driven primarily by domestic demand, will pick up in 2013 but unemployment will be higher in 2013.

Does this mean that wages will increase substantially in 2013, in the face of higher unemployment, or does Roesler have a new economic theory to explain his logic?
20:22 January 16, 2013 by Dalmation
@ Tonne

No, Roesler is only trying to persuade us the ship isn't sunk yet and hopes we won't realise we are neck deep in it until after the elections in Q3.
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