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Business

German Growth Forecasts seen as Optimistic

German Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement will next week unveil the government's new forecasts for growth in 2005, which foresee gross domestic product growth of 1.7-1.8 percent next year, the Financial Times Deutschland reported Friday. Nevertheless, the Bundesbank is sceptical that the eurozone's biggest economy will be able to grow by that much and the German central bank is itself pencilling in GDP expansion of just 1.5 percent in 2005, the newspaper said, without revealing its sources. Clement is scheduled to publish his updated growth forecasts next Monday. So far, Berlin has predicted a range of 1.5-2.0 percent. However, there appeared to be increasing signs that the upturn seen earlier this year -- which has been driven primarily by robust exports -- might be losing momentum as global growth also slows. Earlier this week, Germany's top six economic research institutes announced they were anticipating a slowdown in German growth next year to 1.5 percent from an expected 1.8 percent this year. Nevertheless, the picture has been complicated by the fact that a fewer number of public holidays fell on weekdays this year, but that number would increase again next year, automatically clipping growth. Adjusted for the calendar effects, the Bundesbank was forecasting growth of around 1.5 percent both this year and next year, FT Deutschland said. (AFP)