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Business

Germany’s Top Banker Optimistic for 2004

The president of Germany’s Federal Bank, Ernst Welteke, said the future looks good for economic growth this year. At the same time he cautioned that the strong euro could dampen recovery by making German exports too expensive for trading partners outside the euro zone. Speaking in Berlin, Welteke endorsed Chancellor Schröder’s reform initiatives, but added the current restructuring of employment and welfare benefits don’t go far enough. Like many other economic analysts, the bank president believes the high non-wage labor costs contribute to a slowing of Germany’s economic recovery and place the country at a disadvantage in international competitiveness for foreign investment.