1/30, 12:48 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Altmaier blames Brexit, trade war for slowdown

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier expressed confidence that Germany's gross domestic product would grow for the tenth year in a row, the longest streak since 1966. He said on Wednesday that the forecast rate for 2019 was slashed to 1% from the 1.8% estimate, issued in the fall, and cited uncertainty regarding the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, trade conflicts in the world and taxes. The pace compares to a flash estimate of 1.5% for last year.

During the presentation of an annual report, the official from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) promised the government would improve the framework for expansion and competitiveness including stimulus for employees and the corporate sector. He stressed headwinds are strengthening, claiming they are mostly caused by external factors.

The document, which was leaked yesterday, sets the rise in employment at 0.9% after 1.3% from 2018. The jobless rate, which averaged 5.2% last year, is seen dropping to a record 4.9%. After the rise in domestic demand slowed to 1.8% from 2%, the ministry predicted a rate of 1.4% for 2019. It was more upbeat about exports, putting the expected advance at 2.7%, which follows a drop to 2.4% from 4.6%. However, imports are on track to grow 4% or 0.6 percentage points more than last year, the government said.

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