30 April 2004
BERLIN – The German Economics Ministry on Friday downgraded its economic growth forecast for this year but predicted more robust economic expansion in 2005.
German GDP is now expected to grow by 1.5 percent in 2004, compared with the earlier official projection of up to 2 percent, the ministry said in a statement.
The lower projection is in line with figures released earlier this week from the country’s top economic research institutes.
With weak domestic demand, the economy will be powered by growing exports, said the statement.
Stronger growth of 1.8 percent is projected for 2005 with average growth for the period 2003 through 2008 expected to be 1.75 percent, said the statement.
Germany’s economy contracted in 2003 by 0.1 percent.
No major decline in unemployment is expected for this year, said the report. Germany’s jobless rate is currently almost 11 percent with 4.5 million jobless.
Economists say GDP growth of around 2 percent is needed to created substantial numbers of new jobs in Germany.
Subject: German news