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German think tanks trim 2016 growth forecast to 1.6 per cent

BERLIN – Leading German economic think tanks have trimmed their 2016 growth forecast for the country’s economy to 1.6 per cent, pointing to slower expansion in China and elsewhere.

Thursday’s forecast by four economic institutes was down from the 1.8 per cent they predicted in October. For 2017, they are forecasting growth of 1.5 per cent.

The German economy, Europe’s biggest, expanded by 1.7 per cent last year. It is traditionally export-heavy but lately has been fueled increasingly by domestic demand.

Ifo institute economist Timo Wollmershaeuser said the revision to the think tanks’ forecast was due “exclusively to the fact that global economy cooled noticeably at the end of 2015.” He said the domestic economy actually looks in better shape than it did last fall.

The government is forecasting growth of 1.7 per cent this year.

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This story has been corrected to reflect in the third paragraph that the forecast for 2017 is 1.5 per cent not 1.7 per cent.