"I'm very sceptical" about a minority government, Merkel told public broadcaster ARD, adding that "new elections would be the better path".
In a separate interview with public broadcaster ZDF, Merkel emphasized that Germany needed a stable government "that does not need to seek a majority for every decision".
The veteran leader also confirmed that she was ready to lead her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) into new elections and said she had not considered stepping down after 12 years in office.
Merkel has been forced to fight for her political future after high-stakes talks to form a coalition government failed overnight, potentially forcing Europe's biggest economy to hold new elections.
But a new vote could deliver results that are just as inconclusive as September's, which had prompted Merkel and her conservative CDU-CSU alliance to seek a partnership with the pro-business FDP and the ecologist Greens.