BERLIN – The German government on Wednesday cut its growth forecast for this year, but said Europe’s biggest economy remained “robust” and would return to its pre-pandemic size in 2022.
The Economy Ministry predicted that gross domestic product will grow by 3.6%, down from the 4.1% forecast by the German government at the end of October.
The picture has since been clouded by a new wave of coronavirus infections fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.
GDP rose 2.7% last year, according to preliminary official figures, rebounding from a 4.6% plunge in 2020 when the pandemic shutdowns were at their worst. The government said the growth forecast for this year would bring it back to its pre-crisis size.
“The consequences of the corona pandemic are still noticeable and many companies still have to struggle with them,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. “Nevertheless, our economy is still robust.”
Germany’s National Statistics Office has estimated that released in Germany fell 0.5% to 1% in the last quarter of last year. Forecasts are also fragile for the current quarter, raising the possibility of a technical recession.
But there is great hope that the situation will improve as the year progresses. On Tuesday, a closely watched survey showed business confidence in unexpected ways pick up in january after a six-month slide.
This increase came on the back of a significant improvement in managers’ outlook for the next six months, even as their assessment of the current situation has deteriorated.
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