German 'wise men' boost growth forecast

19th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

19 July 2004HAMBURG - Germany's council of economic "wise men" has boosted its growth forecast for the economy this year from 1.6 to 1.8 percent, a council spokesman confirmed on Monday.

19 July 2004

HAMBURG - Germany's council of economic "wise men" has boosted its growth forecast for the economy this year from 1.6 to 1.8 percent, a council spokesman confirmed on Monday.

Jens Ulbrich, secretary general of the council, said unexpectedly strong German exports had more than compensated for the failure of domestic demand to match the council's estimate at the start of the year.

The alteration in the forecast for Europe's biggest economy was reported earlier Monday by the newspaper Financial Times Deutschland.

Germany's difficulty in pulling out of the economic doldrums has sent the popularity of the Social Democratic and Greens government crashing to a record low and led to a widespread malaise in the country.

The council of economic advisers, which is based in the central city of Wiesbaden, produces independent figures that are usually more conservative than optimistic data issued by the Finance Ministry in Berlin.

The latest forecast is close to the government's current estimate that gross domestic product will grow 1.5 to 2.0 percent this year.

Ulbrich insisted the adjustment was not overly significant, saying 0.2 of a percentage point was less than the margin of error in such estimates. The four-man council compares notes each summer to update its forecast, then calculates a new official forecast in the autumn.

DPA

Subject: German news

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