German government reaffirms growth forecast of 0.7 pct in 2012, 1.6 pct a year later

BERLIN – Germany’s government is reaffirming its growth forecast of 0.7 per cent this year despite the turmoil of the European debt crisis.

Economy Minister Philip Roesler said Wednesday the government expects the economy to pick up more strongly later this year amid steady exports and robust domestic demand. Gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 1.6 per cent in 2013.

Roesler says the forecast errs on the side of caution and Germany will grow above the continent’s average, “continuing to be a locomotive of growth for Europe.”

He says Germany, the 27-nation bloc’s biggest economy, will see rising wages and lower unemployment this and next year.

Germany’s leading economic institutes said last week they expect GDP to grow 0.9 per cent this year and a more robust 2 per cent in 2013.