The European Central Bank’s chief economist Peter Praet warned that persistent uncertainty is undermining confidence and creating major risks to the global economy on Wednesday, citing trade war and Brexit as his main concerns.
Praet’s warning echoed the Governor of the Bank of France and ECB board member Benoit Coeure, who told French legislation that “geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism and vulnerabilities in emerging markets” are hurting business confidence.
Germany’s export-reliant economy returned to 0.4% growth in the first quarter of 2019, as consumers spent more freely and construction activity picked up, but the economic outlook remains clouded by trade disputes.
According to data released by the Federal Statistics Office, 2019 growth is not expected to go beyond an anaemic 0.7%. Europe’s largest economy barely escaped a recession in late 2018, which prompted the ECB to provide a fresh monetary stimulus.