The Institute for Economice Research in Halle -- one of Germany's six leading economic think-tanks -- has lifted its GDP growth expectations to 1.8 percent from 1.5 percent for the current year, due to the strong trend in exports. In its latest report, the IWH also repeated its GDP growth forecast of 1.8 percent for next year. "Export is the decisive factor for the improvement in the economy since the summer of 2003. Domestic demand is stagnating, and will only, noticeably increase next year," the IWH said. Experts at the institute said that the effects of the economic recovery will only be felt starting in 2005. In recent weeks, economic institutes in Kiel and Munich also revised their projected growth rates upwards.