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​Germany lowers its 2015 growth estimate

BERLIN - The German government has trimmed its economic growth forecast for this year, citing weakness in China and other major emerging economies.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday that Berlin now expects growth of 1.7 percent in Europe's biggest economy for 2015, down slightly from the 1.8 percent the government predicted in April. He left the forecast for 2016 unchanged at 1.8 percent.

Gabriel said the emissions-rigging scandal at Volkswagen (VLKAY), which has raised some concerns over damage to the image of German companies, "has no enduring effect" on current economic forecasts, and the government has already taken account of the likely effects on tax income from the giant carmaker.

He said money being put into education to help cope with the refugee influx could work "a bit like a stimulus program" starting next year.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, German DAX stock index was down 0.3 percent, to 10,002 after being as low as 9,900 in earlier trading.

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