Report: German government lowers growth forecast

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BERLIN (AP) — There was mounting concern about the German economy Friday after a key indicator showed business confidence falling and there were reports the government is lowering its growth forecasts for this year.

The Ifo Institute said its business confidence index dropped to 99.1 points in January, from 101.0 points in December.

Managers’ view of both their current circumstances and their prospects for the next six months also fell, the Ifo Institute said. The index is based on responses from some 9,000 firms in manufacturing, services, trade and construction

Separately, business daily Handelsblatt reported that the government is lowering its growth forecast for the current year from 1.8 percent to 1 percent amid a weakening global economy and the concerns over delays in finalizing Britain’s orderly exit from the European Union.

The newspaper reported that the government expects growth to rise again to 1.6 percent in 2020.

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Preliminary figures for 2018 show the German economy grew 1.5 percent, down from 2.2 percent in each of the previous two years.

Germany’s economy has enjoyed growth since 2010.

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