German Economy to Shrink in 2023, Government Says

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The German economy is expected to shrink in 2023, according to the government's latest forecast. This is a marked downgrade from the previous estimate of 0.4% growth, and it reflects the challenges facing Europe's largest economy, including high inflation, elevated energy prices, and a manufacturing slump.

The economy has faced severe headwinds since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. The war has sent energy prices soaring, disrupting supply chains, and dampening consumer confidence. The slowdown in the manufacturing sector, which is a key driver of the German economy, has also been a major factor.

In addition, the German economy is facing other challenges, such as weakness in key trading partner China and aggressive eurozone rate hikes. The rate hikes are aimed at taming runaway consumer prices, but they could also dampen economic growth.

The government's forecast is in line with other recent gloomy estimates. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday forecast that Germany will be the worst performing major economy in 2023, shrinking by 0.5%.

Despite the challenges, the government is predicting that the economy will pick up next year, with growth of 1.3%. Inflation is also expected to come down, from 6.1% this year to 2.6% next year and 2% in 2025.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck sought to strike an upbeat tone, noting that "for the coming year, we expect growth again." He said that "the course for a sustainable economic recovery has been set: the decline in inflation is significant, and with it, real incomes are rising again."

However, some analysts are wary about the government's optimistic outlook. They point out that the economy is already facing a number of headwinds, and that the situation could worsen if the war in Ukraine drags on or if energy prices remain high.

Overall, the German economy is facing a number of challenges in the coming months. The government's forecast of a recession in 2023 is a sign of the seriousness of the situation. However, it is important to note that the economy is still resilient, and that the government is taking steps to support growth.

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