BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Wednesday slashed its 2019 economic growth forecast for the country for the second time this year, halving its outlook to a meager 0.5%.
The update came less than three months after the government cut its forecast to 1% from 1.8% in late January.
Weaker growth elsewhere as a result of global trade tensions and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union has weighed on Germany’s prospects — along with the after-effects of its own weak performance at the end of last year, when output was dragged down largely by one-time factors related to new car emissions standards.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier predicted growth of 1.5% in 2020, a marginally worse outlook than the 1.6% forecast in January. Last year, gross domestic product expanded by 1.4%.
Altmaier said growth should perk up in this year’s second half, pointing to solid domestic demand, booming construction and expectations that the global economy will pick up. He also noted receding prospects of a chaotic no-deal Brexit and the possibility of Britain leaving the EU on softer terms than it originally envisioned after the deadline for its EU withdrawal was put back to Oct. 31.