Germany Slashes Growth Forecast as Trade Prospects Worsen

The German government has halved its growth forecast for 2019 to just 0.5 per cent, highlighting the extent to which wider conditions in the global economy have damaged the health of the eurozone’s economic powerhouse, the Financial Times reported. Peter Altmaier, economics minister, said on Wednesday that the downgrade from an earlier projection of 1 per cent was “a wake-up call” for an economy that over the past decade had experienced one of its most sustained periods of growth in modern history but was now under stress from a global economic slowdown and political uncertainty. The downgrade reflects a poor start to the year for the trade-dependent economy, which has struggled to shrug off weaknesses that built up over the second half of last year. Economists had initially hoped that the weakness in export sales reflected one-off factors that would fade during the opening quarter of 2019, but official data and business surveys have indicated that the soft patch will prove more durable than originally hoped. Read more