Rising infections causing nervousness in German economy: economist

BERLIN (Reuters) - The rising number of COVID-19 infections both in Germany and abroad is casting a pall over sentiment in Europe’s largest economy, Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe said on Monday.

He said he expected fourth-quarter growth of 2.1%, but said that forecast could be overturned if rising infection rates triggered a second lockdown. Growth in infections in France, Italy and Spain were also hitting exports, he added.

“The real hit would come if schools and kindergartens had to close,” he said. “That would have a massive impact on the economy and industry.”

He added that the auto industry presented one chink of light amid the economic gloom. “The carmakers are doing really well at the moment.”

Reporting by Rene Wagner; writing by Thomas Escritt; editing by Thomas Seythal