German economy 'downright robust': minister

27th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The German economy is starting the new year in "downright robust" form, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said in a newspaper interview Tuesday.

"Our economy is downright robust, even if the environment, both at an international and a European level, has become more difficult," Roesler told the business daily Handelsblatt.

Wolfgang Franz, the head of the ZEW think tank and head of the so-called group of "Five Wise Men" which advises the government on economic matters, said Europe's economic powerhouse would not fall into recession in 2012.

"I don't fear a recession, certainly not one as deep as in 2009 when gross domestic product contracted by around 5.0 percent," Franz told the Handelsblatt in a separate interview.

"Companies are faring well and are still confident. Germany is in good shape, for the time being in any case," Franz said.

Current forecasts see German GDP expanding by 0.5-1.0 percent next year after an anticipated 3.0 percent this year.

© 2011 AFP

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