German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier expressed optimism Friday when data for the third quarter of 2020 showed the German economy bounced back strongly compared to the previous three months, when the country was hit by the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
At a news conference in Berlin, Altmaier said figures from the Federal Statistical Office indicate the country’s gross domestic product grew by 8.2% from July to September compared to the second quarter, “well above” expectations, and the government now expects a full-year decline in GDP of 5.5%, down from the September forecast of a 5.8%.
Altmaier said the good third quarter suggests the German economy can continue to grow even during a pandemic. He said that also gives the government hope as it faces a second wave of COVID-19 and heads into what could be difficult winter months.
Germany is set to enforce new restrictions on Monday, closing bars, restaurants and other “leisure” sections of the economy to slow the current surge in infections.
Altmaier told reporters, as optimistic as he is, the recovery is “subject to further developments of the pandemic.”
But, he added, “we have a real chance of achieving this growth.”
Altmaier said he expects the economy to fully recover from the pandemic by 2022.