Economic forecasts show Germany is growing faster than expected, with most of the world's major economies gaining momentum. However, Japan could experience a downturn as a result of last month's disaster.
Germany's economy is set to witness robust growth
Predictions for economic growth in Germany have been upwardly revised, according to the latest forecasts from the economy minister and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The latest forecasts say economic growth for 2011 appears to be stronger than expected, an increase on the government's original prediction.
"It would not surprise me at the end of the year if it's higher than the 2.3 percent we originally projected," said Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle at a forum of the German Savings Banks Associations on Tuesday.
Job prospects are also looking better than expected. Brüderle said Germany was "on the fast-track to full employment."
G7 growth, but Japan still uncertain
Japan's reconstruction efforts could outweigh an economic downturn
Revised forecasts for 2011 released by the OECD support Brüderle's assessment of the German economic situation.
The OECD predicted Germany, France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States would likely see an annual growth rate of 3 percent in the first half of the year.
These nations represent six of the seven G7 nations. Japan is the seventh, but the OECD said it was too early to determine the extent that last month's earthquake and tsunami would have on the Japanese economy.
Initial estimates forecast Japanese growth declining by up to 1.4 percentage points by the second quarter, an OECD report said.
However, efforts to rebuild the disaster-struck island nation could outweigh the negative economic impact in the long run.
"Reconstruction efforts are likely to begin relatively quickly and these could begin to outweigh the negative effects ... as early as the third quarter," the report said.
Author: Matt Zuvela, Spencer Kimball (Reuters, AFP, AP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler