High unemployment expected in Germany

The five economists agreed with the government’s forecast for 1.5% economic growth next year. They said the figure could rise to 1.7% if Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder succeeds in passing a Jan. 1 income tax cut worth euro15.5 billion ($17.8 billion) ? a move currently stalled in the opposition-controlled upper house of parliament. The panel predicted that Germany’s jobless rate, which has weighed heavily on Schroeder’s popularity, will remain above 10% in 2004.

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