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German economic advisers slash 2022 growth forecast to 1.8pc

BERLIN (AP) – The German government’s panel of independent economic advisers yesterday slashed its 2022 growth forecast for Europe’s biggest economy in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and concern over energy supplies and prices.

The group forecast that Germany’s gross domestic product will expand by only 1.8 per cent this year, compared with the 4.6 per cent it predicted in November.

Last year, the country’s GDP grew by 2.8 per cent; in the final quarter of 2021, it shrank by 0.7 per cent compared with the previous three-month period.

“The high dependence on Russian energy supplies entails a considerable risk of lower economic output and even a recession with significantly higher inflation rates,” the panel said.

The economists said in a statement that “Germany should immediately do everything possible to take precautions against a suspension of Russian energy supplies and quickly end its dependence on Russian energy sources.” They added that “in the long term, the goal must be to ensure higher energy security, for example by expanding renewable energies and diversifying energy imports”. Those steps reflect the German government’s policy.

A worker rides his bicycle to the BP oil refinery Ruhr Oil, Germany. PHOTO: AP