Germany faces big growth hit in first half, second-half recovery possible: minister

© Reuters. German parliament session on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin © Reuters. German parliament session on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – The German economy faces a major setback in the March-May period but there is still a chance it could make up some of that lost ground in the second half of the year, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

“The impact will be very noticeable in the months of March, April and May,” Altmaier told the paper. “In the second half of the year, we still have the chance for recovery and catch-up effects.”

But the outlook was clouded by uncertainty.

“The corona crisis is hitting the United States, one of our most important trading partners, much harder than previously assumed,” he said, adding that Germany would need economic programs after the crisis to stimulate growth.

“However, these will not be classic economic stimulus packages with a flash in the pan, but rather astute structural incentives for investment and innovation,” said Altmaier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).

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