Germans more pessimistic about economy than economists

Germans more pessimistic about economy than economists
Photo: DPA
A third of Germans think the economy won’t recover before the second half of 2010, well after economists believe the recession will have ended, according to a new poll.

The survey by the GfK research institute for newspaper Welt am Sonntag showed another third of the respondents think the economy will only hit rock-bottom in mid-2010.

“Consumers understand economic developments mostly in relation to the labour market,” said GfK pollster Rolf Bürkel. Though economists say the biggest contractions in the German economy have mostly passed, most analysts expect unemployment to worsen significantly, reaching well over four million by next year.

An economic forecast released Thursday by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) estimated that the German economy could grow 0.4 percent next year, after likely shrinking 6 percent in 2009. The institute forecasts unemployment will reach 4.4 million from the current 3.6 million.

IfW head Wolfgang Franz said data about slowly-improving business conditions shows that “the economic crash has come to a halt in the last few weeks, the worst is behind us.”

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