News ID: 320985
Published: 0133 GMT April 13, 2022

German economic institutes see sharp recession if Russian gas cut off

German economic institutes see sharp recession if Russian gas cut off

Germany would face a sharp recession if gas supplies from Russia are suddenly cut off, the country's leading economic institutes said on Wednesday, and the government said the conflict in Ukraine poses "substantial risks" for Europe's largest economy.

A sudden stop in Russian energy supplies - an adverse scenario and not the institutes' baseline expectation - would slow economic growth to 1.9% this year and result in a contraction of 2.2% in 2023, they said, Reuters reported.

The chairmen of three German parliamentarian committees called on Tuesday for the European Union to impose an embargo on Russian oil as soon as possible. But a survey published on Wednesday showed most Germans baulk at that idea.

"If gas supplies were to be cut off, the German economy would undergo a sharp recession," said Stefan Kooths, vice president and research director business cycles and growth at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

The cumulative loss of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 and 2023 in the event of a such supply freeze would likely be around 220 billion euros ($238 billion), or more than 6.5% of annual economic output, the five institutes said.

In its monthly report, Germany's Economy Ministry said the conflict in Ukraine "poses substantial risks" for the economy, but it was hard to quantify effects: "They depend heavily on the duration and intensity of the conflict," it said.

The economic institutes - the RWI in Essen, the DIW in Berlin, the Ifo in Munich, the IfW in Kiel and Halle's IWH - confirmed revised forecasts reported by Reuters on Tuesday, cutting their baseline 2022 growth projection for the economy to 2.7% from 4.8% and forecasting 2023 growth of 3.1%.

The Economy Ministry said that in coming months the inflation rate driven by energy prices is likely to weigh on private consumption.

"Uncertainty about future economic developments remains correspondingly high," it added.


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