GERMAN GOV’T ADVISERS SEE 1 PCT GROWTH NEXT YEAR

BERLIN (AP) – The German government’s independent panel of economic advisers is forecasting growth of just 1 percent next year, undercutting officials’ predictions, and criticizing some government policies.

In a report Wednesday, the panel also cut its 2014 growth forecast to 1.2 percent from its 1.9 percent prediction in March. The government recently forecast growth of 1.2 percent this year and 1.3 percent next year.

The advisers pointed to “geopolitical risks” such as the Ukraine crisis and weak eurozone growth. They also said the government’s labor and social policies, such as plans to introduce a minimum wage next year, may have hit confidence.

Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed to “geopolitical challenges” and questioned how a policy that hasn’t yet taken effect could be blamed for slowing the economy.

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