January 30, 2019: Berlin on Wednesday slashed its economic growth forecast for 2019, saying it now expects only 1.0 percent expansion for Germany compared with 1.8 percent previously.
After GDP growth of 2.2 percent in 2017 and 1.5 percent last year, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier predicted a slowdown “largely due to the international environment”.
An uncertain Brexit outcome, trade conflicts — especially with the United States — and tax competition are weighing on the European powerhouse's prospects, he added.
Altmaier's forecast confirms leaks last week to the German press and follows a 0.6 percentage point reduction in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) outlook for Germany, to 1.3 percent growth.
But the country can continue counting on strong domestic demand, with unemployment expected to fall to 4.9 percent this year after 5.2 percent in 2018 — the lowest levels since reunification in 1990.
Meanwhile incomes are expected to rise 4.8 percent in 2019.