* Ukraine crisis seen hitting German exports
* "We're on dangerous path" - DIHK foreign trade head
(Adds detail, comments from Treier)
BERLIN Aug 14 Germany's Chambers of Commerce
cut its 2014 estimate for exports from Europe's biggest economy
on Thursday due to the Ukraine crisis, but said even its lower
forecast would not be achievable if the standoff between Russia
and the West worsened.
The DIHK said German shipments abroad would increase by a
maximum of 3.5 percent this year. In May it had forecast growth
of 4.0 percent but on Thursday it said tensions in Ukraine and
weaker growth in emerging markets like Turkey, South Africa,
India, Brazil and Indonesia meant this was not possible.
"We're on a dangerous path," said DIHK foreign trade head
The European Union has imposed sanctions on the Russian
finance, energy and defence sectors in response to Russia's
annexation of Crimea and its failure to rein in pro-Russian
separatists in Ukraine. Moscow denies arming the rebels and has
hit back by banning imports of Western foods.
"The sanctions and Russia's countermeasures are continuing
to affect German exports. Alongside the direct negative impact,
there will be an economic slowdown in other European countries
which will then buy fewer German products," Treier said.
He said exporters would make around 11 billion euros less in
revenues than previously forecast, putting some 100,000 jobs in
Germany at risk. The DIHK said exports, which traditionally
propel the German economy, would therefore fail to make a
contribution to growth this year.
Data published on Thursday showed weak foreign trade,
combined with lower construction investment, drove a 0.2 percent
decline in German gross domestic product (GDP) between April and
June. Given tit-for-tat sanctions between Europe and Russia, the
third-quarter outlook is not rosy either.
Shipments to Russia, which fell 15 percent in the first five
months of the year, make up only 3.3 percent of total German
exports. But the standoff has increased uncertainty among German
exporters, of which about 10 percent send goods to Russia.
The DIHK said exports could, however, grow by around 5
percent next year as long as the crisis with Russia over Ukraine
But even that growth would be well below the average of
around 6 percent since Germany reunified in 1990. The economy in
France, Germany's biggest export market, remains weak, while
Italy has slipped back into recession.
The DIHK also cut its forecast for economic growth in 2014
to 1.5 percent from its previous estimate of 2.0 percent in
(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Michelle Martin;
Editing by Madeline Chambers and Mark Trevelyan)