German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said his country can only remain an economic powerhouse, if it allows for more public and corporate investments. He added future growth would depend on them.
In a letter sent to other cabinet members, Gabriel outlined his strategy on Thursday towards securing robust growth and employment until 2017. He warned Germany would lose out against competitors before long without making a lot more public and corporate investments.
According to reports by DPA news agency and the business daily Handelsblatt, Gabriel said the current investment ration of 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was well below the 20-percent average recorded for OECD member states.
Vigilant industry federation
"It's true that public budgets have to be consolidated further," the minister was quoted as saying. "But consolidation must not come at the cost of urgently needed investments."
Germany's grand coalition government aims to do without any fresh borrowing by 2015, an objective that hinges on solid growth and high employment levels and resulting high tax revenues.
The German industry federation BDI said Thursday Europe's top economy could notch up growth of 2 percent or more this year, if the eurozone kept stabilizing and more investments were made.
"But whether the growth impulses that are there actually have any effect largely lies in the hands of the politicians," The BDI maintained in a statement, adding that the main driver of growth would be consumer spending due to high wage increases and low inflation.
hg/dr (AFP, dpa)