Germany says economy could grow 4% this year as pandemic eases | Economic news

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BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, could grow by up to 4% this year as the coronavirus pandemic recedes, a senior official said on Thursday.

Comments by Economy Minister Peter Altmaier marked the anniversary of the government’s agreement on a stimulus package to help revive the economy, which included reducing the value-added tax in the second half of the year last year and granting families a one-time payment of 300 euros ($ 366) per child.

Other aid programs have helped keep businesses out of the water for months of virus shutdowns, while heavy use of a short-term wage support program has kept wages in check and the unemployment.

Germany‘s gross domestic product fell 4.9% last year. It was the biggest drop since the 2009 financial crisis, but Germany did better than several other European countries as manufacturing was less affected than services during the pandemic.

“We can say today that the economic engine is running again,” said Altmaier.

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“We think the economy will grow by at least 3.5% this year, and I think it is even possible that we will achieve growth between 3.5% and 4%,” he said. added.

Altmaier said data has improved since the government raised its official forecast for 2021 from 3% to 3.5% a month ago.

Coronavirus restrictions are relaxed across Germany as infection numbers drop sharply and the vaccination campaign has picked up speed. On Wednesday alone, Germany administered more than 1.19 million doses of the vaccine. It has now administered at least one dose to 44.6% of its population and fully vaccinated 19.6%.

Follow more information on AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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