Walter said a five-percent contraction is actually a fairly optimistic forecast, all things considered.
"The German economy will shrink by five percent in 2009 only if we have a real upswing in the summer," Walter told the paper. "It cannot be ruled out that this upswing will not come. Therefore, a worse result than this (five-percent contraction) can no longer be excluded," he said.
His comments came as Germany's main stock index, the DAX, slipped to 3,936.45 at closing time in Frankfurt on Monday, the first time in four years that it has closed lower than 4,000. Since the beginning of the year, the top 30 German shares have lost an average 16 percent of their value.RW: This is truly humbling. The German economy posted a record 8.2% annualized decline (2.1% over the quarter) in the fourth quarter of 2008. Here is one trajectory that would tally up to -5.1% growth in 2009 as a whole:
- Q1 2009: -5.5% annualized GDP growth rate
- Q2 2009: -5.0%
- Q3 2009: -5.0%
- Q4 2009: -3.0%