BERLIN -- This year promises to be a good year for German industry given brighter export prospects and a stabilization in corporate investment and hiring, one of the country's top business organizations said on Tuesday.
"2013 has it in it to be a good year in economic terms," said the head of the DIHK chambers of commerce federation, Martin Wansleben.
"Company expectations are brightening, particularly with regard to exports. Their investment and hiring plans are stabilizing," he said, presenting the results of DIHK's twice-yearly economic survey.
Based on the results of the poll, which questioned a total 28,000 businesses around the country, DIHK said it is penciling in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.7% this year, the same rate of growth as last year.
That is more optimistic than the German government which is penciling growth of 0.4% in 2013.
"While companies have still not completely shaken off their uncertainty, the debt crisis is not weighing as heavily as did on their business expectations," Wansleben said.
"There certainly won't be any massive jumps in growth. But company expectations suggest that the economy will gather momentum as the year progresses," he said.
Germany has fared a lot better than its European neighbors in the debt crisis thanks in part to deep and painful economic reforms undertaken a number of years ago.
But with its large dependence on exports, many of which are destined for the euro area, Germany has not escaped completely unscathed and overall economic growth slowed to just 0.7% in 2012 from 3% in 2011.
Exports are set to expand by 4% this year compared with 4.1% in 2012 and 7.8% in 2011, DIHK calculated.
Imports are projected to rise by 4.3% after 2.3% last year.
DIHK predicted that the jobless total will nevertheless rise slightly to an annual average 2.94 million this year from 2.9 million last year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013