German Institutes See Only Sluggish Recovery

By Agence France-Presse Six economic think tanks in Germany slashed their forecast for German growth this year, predicting that the performance of the euro-zone's biggest economy would remain lackluster well into next year, even if recovery switched in later this year. The report, published April 15, says that while the government's planned economic reforms went in the right direction, they still did not go far enough. "Economic recovery can be expected in the second half of this year. But it will remain sluggish," according to the report. "All in all, gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by only 0.5% in the whole of 2003." A previous report from the six institutes -- Berlin-based DIW, Ifo in Munich, HWWA in Hamburg, RWI in Essen, IfW in Kiel and IWH in Halle -- had originally forecasted growth of 1.4% for this year. Additionally, the German government is expected to scale back its 2003 growth forecast of 1% to just 0.5%. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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