BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In view of the persistently critical Corona situation, the “economic wise men” have warned of setbacks for the economy in Germany. The Advisory Council raised its forecast for economic growth this year. Due to the sharp increase in the number of infections, the economic situation remains fragile, said the chairman of the “Wirtschaftsweise”, Lars Feld, on Wednesday when the annual report was presented. For further development, how the pandemic can be contained and how the economy develops abroad is crucial.
The council of experts handed the report to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) at noon. Due to a strong economic recovery in the third quarter, the “economic wise men” anticipate a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) of 5.1 percent for the current year. In June the council had predicted a minus of 6.5 percent for 2020. The “economic wise men” are currently a little more optimistic than Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU).
The forecast takes into account the recent increase in the number of infections and the tightened corona restrictions in November, it said. In the forecast, the Advisory Council assumes that the number of new infections can be kept under control with limited intervention, so that no extensive shutdown is necessary as in spring 2020 and the international supply chains are not significantly disrupted.
In the coming year, the “economic wise men” expect growth of 3.7 percent. However, this is also subject to a reservation: “If there are massive restrictions in economic activity similar to those in the spring, a more pronounced decline in economic output can be expected.”
The extensive closure of trade and the interruption of supply chains had caused the economy to collapse in the spring. From July to September, however, the gross domestic product rose unexpectedly strongly. The Council of Experts expects that the pre-crisis level will not be reached again until the beginning of 2022 at the earliest./hoe/DP/fba