German government advisers raise economic growth forecast

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walking in the Bundestag after a further round of the ongoing exploratory talks by the Christian bloc CDU/CSU, the Free Democrats, FDP and The Green Party in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (Silas Stein/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government’s panel of independent economic advisers is predicting healthy growth this year of 2 percent in Europe’s biggest economy, followed by a further pickup to 2.2 percent in 2018.

Chairman Christoph Schmidt said as he presented the panel’s annual report Wednesday to Chancellor Angela Merkel that “Germany is in a robust upswing and production capacities are in overload.” He said that that gives Germany’s next government “the chance to find a balance between continuity and readjustment.”

Merkel is currently in negotiations to form a new government after Germany’s September election. It’s expected to be a lengthy process.

Economic data in Germany have been pointing upward in recent months. In March, the panel of economists had predicted growth of 1.4 percent this year and 1.6 percent in 2018.