Finance minister says German new debt may be below €60bn

German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble yesterday said Germany’s net new borrowing could be less than €60bn (£49.3bn) this year, putting it well below a previous target of around €65bn.

Berlin has barely begun issuing new debt this year. It has said it plans to issue €338bn in total debt in 2010, including for refinancing. So far, it has issued €239bn, of which €237.5bn was for refinancing, according to Germany’s debt management agency.

“We stand a good chance we may get below €60bn new debt this year,” Schaeuble told a conference.

Germany’s economy grew by a quarterly 2.2 per cent in the second quarter, its fastest pace since reunification and speeding ahead of other members of the Eurozone.

Economists forecast Europe’s biggest economy will grow by at least three per cent this year given the strong second quarter but will slow next year. The International Monetary Fund forecasts German economic growth of 1.7 per cent for 2011. “I don’t know if we will get that but if we do that is okay,” Schaeuble said. The German government is due to update its growth forecasts in October.