'Wise ones' see economy powering forward

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'Wise ones' see economy powering forward

Germany is set for a powerful rebound this year, a panel of top experts said on Wednesday, forecasting growth of 3.7 percent for Europe's top economy.


The so-called "Five Wise Ones," economic advisors to Chancellor Angela Merkel, were even more bullish on the economy than the government in their annual report, seeing solid growth of 2.2 percent in 2011.

The government has forecast output growth of 3.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent next year.

"Germany's path out of the crisis has been viewed with astonishment, in particular the relatively stable performance of the labour market," the experts said.

The global downturn hit Germany, the world's second-biggest exporter after China, especially hard as demand for its goods dried up. In 2009, it suffered the worst recession in 60 years with GDP contracting 4.7 percent.

Buoyed by the stronger economy, jobless lines are also poised to shrink, with unemployment to drop below the psychologically significant three million mark, the experts forecast.

"I think we are all delighted that the situation this year looks a lot more optimistic than last year," said Merkel as she received the report. She also pledged to stick to her policy of reducing Germany's budget deficit.

The report forecast Germany's deficit would be 3.7 percent of GDP in 2010, dropping to 2.4 percent next year, well below the European Union ceiling of three percent.



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