November 23, 2018 / 12:10 PM / 19 days ago

Germany's surplus to peak at 60 billion euros this year: Spiegel

A general view shows the skyline of Potsdamer Platz square and the Leipziger Strasse street in Berlin, Germany, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s overall public sector surplus will peak at a record 60 billion euros this year, or around 1.8 percent of the country’s economic output, before shrinking to about half that amount by 2022, magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing a government document.

The forecasts, prepared by the finance ministry for a joint committee of federal and regional governments, comes amid gathering signs that a decade-long expansion in Europe’s largest economy is petering out.

Der Spiegel said the forecasts called for the combined surplus of the federal government, the regions, municipalities and social insurance funds to shrink to about 36 billion euros in 2019, or around 1 percent of gross domestic product.

Years of record output growth have had a salutary effect on government finances, however: The ministry forecast sees total public sector debt falling to 58 percent of gross domestic product next year, bringing it below the European Union’s 60 percent ceiling for the first time since 2010. It is then expected to slide to 52 percent in 2022.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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