BERLIN, March 20 The German government's panel
of economic advisers on Monday rejected international criticism
of the country's large current account surplus and called U.S.
President Donald Trump's protectionist stance a threat to the
"The German current account surplus is high, but this does
not signal a macroeconomic imbalance," Christoph Schmidt, head
of the panel of 'wise men' said, adding that demands such as
increasing public investment were misleading.
The government should rather make Germany a more attractive
investment location for the private sector which would help to
reduce the current account surplus, Schmidt said.
"The protectionist measures demanded by President Trump pose
a threat to the international trading system and a risk to the
global economy," the panel of economic advisers said.
The 'wise men' reiterated that they viewed the European
Central Bank's monetary policy as "too expansionary" in light of
the economic development in the euro zone, adding that the
resulting risks for financial stability were rising further.
"The ECB should therefore start winding down the bond-buying
program as soon as possible," the advisers said.
The panel slightly revised up their growth forecast for this
year by 0.1 percentage point to 1.4 percent. Adjusted for the
fewer number of workdays this year, they expect Europe's biggest
economy to grow by 1.7 percent.
For 2018, the panel predicts a growth rate of 1.6 percent.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Joseph Nasr)