April 17, 2019 / 9:13 AM / 8 days ago

German government slashes 2019 growth forecast to 0.5 pct

BERLIN, April 17 (Reuters) - The German government cut its 2019 growth forecast for the second time within three months on Wednesday, reflecting a worsening slowdown in Europe’s largest economy driven by a recession in the manufacturing sector.

Berlin now expects gross domestic product growth of 0.5 percent this year. In January, the government had cut its growth estimate to 1.0 percent from 1.8 percent previously.

For 2020, the government envisages a rebound with economic expansion of 1.5 percent.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said trade disputes and Brexit uncertainty were weighing on the German economy. Domestic factors include the introduction of new car emission regulations (WLTP) and unusually low Rhine water levels which have led to supply and production bottlenecks in the industrial sector. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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