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Growth

German industry chiefs not afraid of 2013

The Federation of German Industry has said it expects the economy to grow twice as much in 2013 as forecast by the government. It has emphasized that exports to non-European nations would provide fresh impetus.

German industry captains expected their countries' economy to expand at a faster pace than predicted by the government, the new president of the Federation of Germany Industry (BDI), Ulrich Grillo, said in Berlin on Tuesday.

"We're currently expecting growth in 2013 to match that seen in the previous year," Grillo commented. The BDI a 0.8 percent expansion would be realistic, following 0.7 percent in 2012.

"At the moment, we don't see any signs that growth will slow," Grillo said, thus indicating that the government's latest forecast of just 0.4 percent this year might be a misjudgment of current realities.

Politicians, don't get in the way!

The BDI singled out exports as the main driver of growth in 2013, expecting shipments abroad to rise by "at least 3 percent." The umbrella organization expressed the hope that increasing demand overseas, most of all in North America and China, would offset continuously sluggish trade in Europe.

Grillo warned the government against any "precipitous political measures" it might take in the 2013 election year with a view to pleasing voters.

He said there must be no moves to jeopardize German competitiveness, voicing his concern about a possible wealth tax and higher costs for energy-intensive industries as Germany continued its shift from nuclear to renewable forms of energy.

hg/dr (dapd, AFP)