German Growth to Slow Dramatically, Top Advisers Warn

Five top German government advisers have warned that the country’s economic growth is set to slow dramatically this year, in what would be a sharp downturn in the fortunes of the eurozone’s economic powerhouse, the Financial Times reported. The annual report by Germany’s Council of Economic Experts, an independent group set up to monitor the economy and advise the government, forecast growth of 1.6 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent in 2019 — markedly worse than 2017’s six-year high of 2.2 per cent. The council’s estimate is worse than that of the government’s in-house economists, which last month cut projections for growth this year from 2.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent because of what Peter Altmaier, economics minister, dubbed “smouldering trade conflicts worldwide”. “It is a strong correction — in the spring we expected growth of 2.3 per cent this year,” said Lars Feld, one of the council’s five members. He highlighted problems in Germany’s showpiece automotive industry in adjusting to new EU emissions standards and the impact on business confidence of global trade tensions. Read more