Merkel summons experts to assess economic downturn

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet top economic experts, bankers and company bosses next week to assess the economic crisis.

By (Reuters)

Published: Tue 14 Apr 2009, 3:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:35 AM

“This is quite specifically not a question of a third stimulus programme,” a government spokesman said.

The outcome of the summit will, however, have a bearing on the government’s next economic forecasts which are due at the end of this month, he said.

Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said last month the government would have to cut its existing forecast, that Europe’s biggest economy would shrink by 2.25 percent this year.

Despite two stimulus programmes, which the government says amount to a total of 81 billion euros ($106.9 billion), some economists believe the economy may contract by over 5 percent this year and that unemployment will rise to over 4 million.

Next Wednesday’s meeting will include about 40 representatives from unions, industry groups and companies as well as from the coalition parties—Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD).

The two parties will face off in September’s federal election.

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