“After years of strong growth, we are currently in an economic slump, but not a recession,” the CDU politician told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers. “We now have to wait and see how the third and fourth quarters develop”. However, we assume that there will be moderate economic growth for 2019 as a whole.”
The latest economic figures are an “urgent appeal to politicians to improve the framework conditions for economic growth,” Altmaier said. What’s needed above all, he says, is relief for small and medium-sized businesses. A “very good package could be put together” with a corporate tax reform “that puts partnerships in a better position in particular, and a binding commitment to completely abolish the solidarity surcharge.”.
Altmaier said he does not think it is impossible that the SPD will still go along with his concept to completely abolish the solidarity surcharge after it has clarified its leadership issues. He spoke out against an economic stimulus package: “Stimulus programs fizzle out like flash in the pan and only burn money in the end.”
Altmaier advocated “redoubling” efforts to reach a trade deal between the U.S. and Europe. This will be a priority task of the new EU Commission. The danger of American punitive tariffs on German cars has “not been banished”. But he thinks an agreement on an industrial tariff treaty with the USA is possible. The unresolved trade conflicts also put downward pressure on American growth figures.