October 18, 2018 / 7:32 AM / a month ago

Germany's DIHK sees GDP growth slowing to 1.7 pct in 2019

BERLIN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Germany’s DIHK Chambers of Industry and Commerce has cut its 2018 growth forecast for Europe’s largest economy to 1.8 percent from 2.2 percent and forecast a slow-down to 1.7 percent next year.

“Companies are noticeably more cautious about their business outlook, we see the biggest deterioration in business expectations in four years,” the DIHK said on Thursday.

According to its autumn survey entitled “The air is getting thinner”, companies scaled back their business expectations to 11 points from 17 points in spring. Business morale regarding current conditions remained stable at 45 points.

The DIHK’s survey of around 27,000 managers, the biggest of its kind in Germany, found that companies viewed shortages of skilled labour and rising labour costs as the principal risks for their business outlook.

“Given the rapid pace of change, for example in global trade policies or digitalization - and the unclear outcome of Brexit, it is becoming more difficult for companies to foresee a clear trend in their business development,” DIHK said. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

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