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Business

Ministry Says 1 Percent Growth This Year

German Minister for Economics and Labor Wolfgang Clement announced on Tuesday in Brussels that he expects his country's economy to grow by around 1 percent in 2003. Previously the government had reckoned with 1.5 percent growth. Clement's adjustment corresponds with the prognosis in his ministry's yearly economic report, which will be released on January 29. Clement said that he expects an upturn in the second half of the year. The minister, however, indicated that there are that signs of an improvement to the weak economic situation, referring to the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) Indicator of Economic Sentiment for January that recorded increases for the first time in seven months. It now stands at 14 points, a rise of 13.4 points compared with the December result. The ZEW Indicator assesses the economic climate based on polling financial analysts and institutional investors.