Berlin sees faster growth

- Agence France-Presse, FRANKFURT AM MAIN

Apr 27, 2017-

The German government upgraded its economic forecast for 2017 slightly on Wednesday, saying that strong domestic consumption would increase growth and bring down its much-criticised trade surplus.

Europe’s largest economy should expand by 1.5 percent this year, Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries told journalists in Berlin, slightly more than the 1.4 percent predicted in January. She left unchanged the government forecast of 1.6 percent growth in 2018. 

“The German economy is growing solidly and remains on an expansionary path. And that’s despite a global environment marked by uncertainties,” Zypries said. “Good conditions in the labour market and strong increases in employment assure a strong domestic economy.” Berlin expects unemployment to fall slightly further from already historic lows in 2017, before stabilising next year. Low joblessness and rising wages mean that households will have more cash in their pockets, with consumer spending expected to increase by 1.4 percent this year and next.

Companies’ investments in equipment will “gradually” pick up in 2017 and 2018, while the construction sector is boosted by public spending and households’ demand for homes, encouraged by low interest rates. Meanwhile, Germany’s trade surplus — which has arisen because it exports more than it imports — is expected to shrink, as demand from firms and consumers at home grows faster than the world economy and global trade.

Published: 27-04-2017 10:13

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