“Yes, the Federal Republic of Germany is in a recession,” Steinbrück said. It would be incorrect to continue to speak merely of stagnation, he added during remarks preceeding four days of parliamentary debates regarding on the 2009 budget. “Nobody can say with certainty how serious the recession will be and how long it will last,” Steinbrück said.
At the same time Steinbrück stuck to the optimistic prognosis that the German economy would grow by 0.2 percent in 2009, though the GDP could rise or fall within the range of 0.2 percent and -1.0 percent.
The Bundesbank, on the other hand, reportedly expects a decline of -1.0 percent. This would be the sharpest decline in the German economy since the Federal Republic of Germany was established in 1949.
Meanwhile Steinbrück also denied that plans for €500 consumer vouchers were in the works as part of an economic stimulus plan.