BERLIN, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy is cooling but fears of a sharp slowdown are overblown and there are few downside risks to the government’s forecast for 0.7 percent growth this year, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers on Tuesday. Opening a parliamentary debate on the draft 2013 budget with a bullish speech, Schaeuble said Europe’s largest economy had become more resilient to shocks such as the global slowdown thanks to structural reforms and policies.
Germany, seen as the sick man of Europe 10 years ago, now has the lowest jobless rate since reunification in 1991 and the highest employment levels in its history, Schaeuble said. “That we are better positioned is not only obvious in (these labour market developments), but something more fundamental has changed and that gives us all confidence, also for future developments,” he told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. (more)