German ‘wise men’ economists slash growth outlook | 2019-03-20 |

German ‘wise men’ economists slash growth outlook

20 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: A revered panel of German economists said Tuesday that slower exports and biting capacity limits had prompted them to lower their growth forecast for the European powerhouse, with a chaotic Brexit a further risk to the outlook.

Output would expand just 0.8 percent this year, said the five-strong "wise men" group -- which includes one woman -- some 0.7 points lower than their previous forecast, reports AFP.

"Significantly weaker export demand from key markets" was one brake on expansion, the experts found, while "capacity constraints and existing labour shortages in many sectors" weighed on the supply side.

"The boom in the German economy has faded," chairman Christoph Schmidt said, although "given the robust domestic economy, a recession is currently not to be expected."

The group's slashed expectations follow similar downgrades from Berlin, international organisations and private think-tanks.

The federal government's January projections called for 1.0 percent growth, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that month was more optimistic at 1.3 percent.