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ECONOMY

Germany economy to return to pre-pandemic levels ‘by 2022 at the latest’

The German government is set to upgrade its growth forecast for this year as industry holds up well to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Saturday.

Germany economy to return to pre-pandemic levels 'by 2022 at the latest'
Testing staff of non-profit organisation Albatros receive people for a coronavirus (Covid-19) test before Friday prayer at the 'Haus der Weisheit' (House of Wisdom) Mosque in Berlin's Moabit district on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Tobias Schwarz / AFP)

“In January, we forecast growth of 3.0 percent. Current data show that it will even be slightly higher,” Altmaier said in an interview with the Funkemedia group, speaking ahead of the ministry’s gross domestic product forecasts scheduled for Tuesday.
 
Europe’s biggest economy shrank by 4.9 percent in 2020 as restrictions to curb the pandemic hit many sectors.

“There are reasons to be optimistic,” Altmaier said, pointing to better-than-expected data as industry benefits from the global recovery.
 
Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the anti-Covid restrictions – which are being tightened in Germany from this weekend in an attempt to rein in a ferocious third wave of infections – have hit sectors such as retail, gastronomy and hotels particularly hard.

READ ALSO: Germany makes new prediction for jobs and economy in 2021

The German economy will return to pre-pandemic levels “by 2022 at the latest,” Altmaier said.

Last week, Germany’s leading think-tanks similarly warned that the current wave of the pandemic would put the brakes on economic recovery, but they were pencilling in growth of as much as 3.7 percent this year.

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COVID-19

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for the coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms after returning from a tour of the Gulf, his spokesman said Monday.

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

The 64-year-old Social Democrat is isolating in his apartment in the chancellery, and will attend meetings online, spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

At the weekend, he visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a hunt for new energy sources after Russia cut gas supplies amid tensions over the Ukraine war.

He signed a deal Sunday for the UAE to supply natural gas and diesel to Germany.

READ ALSO: UAE to supply Germany with gas and diesel 

Meanwhile Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also of the SPD, announced via Twitter on Monday that she had tested positive for Covid.

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