World News

German government to raise 2020 economic growth forecast to 1.1%: sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government expects Europe’s largest economy to grow by 1.1% this year, up from a previous estimate of 1.0%, sources familiar with the figure told Reuters on Monday.

The new prediction still needs to be approved by deputy ministers who are meeting on Monday to prepare for Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the sources said. The Economy Ministry is due to publish its forecasts on Wednesday.

The sources added that the government saw growth picking up further in 2021, although an exact final estimate had not yet been determined.

German business daily Handelsblatt reported last week that the government would stick to its 2021 forecast of 1.5%.

A spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry declined to comment and pointed instead to the upcoming publication of the government’s annual economic report.

The German economy narrowly dodged recession last year, and the Ifo institute’s monthly survey on Monday showed business morale weakening, suggesting the economy got off to a slow start in 2020.

Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said the German economy would likely grow by 0.2% in the January to March period after probably expanding by 0.1% in the fourth quarter as the industrial sector slowly emerges from a crisis.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Holger Hansen und Christian Kraemer; writing by Thomas Seythal; editing by Michelle Martin)