German government advisers chop 2013 economic growth forecast to meagre 0.3 per cent

BERLIN – The German government’s independent council of economic advisers has cut its forecast for growth this year to 0.3 per cent after Europe’s biggest economy shrank in the final quarter of 2012.

The revised 2013 growth forecast issued Monday compares with the 0.8 per cent growth that the five-member panel predicted last November.

The economy contracted by 0.6 per cent in last year’s final quarter. It’s expected to return to modest growth in the current quarter, avoiding recession. Across the whole of 2012, Germany’s output expanded by 0.7 per cent — slower than in previous years but still a better performance than that of many other European countries.

The reduced forecast from the council of economists puts their outlook slightly below that of the government, which is predicting growth of 0.4 per cent this year.