Ukraine war latest: Lavrov says scale of western sanctions took Moscow by surprise

The German economy is heading for a slowdown this year, delaying its expected recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, as the war in Ukraine drives up energy and food prices, economists warned on Wednesday.

The Ifo Institute in Munich slashed its forecast for gross domestic product growth this year to between 2.2 per cent and 3.1 per cent, from an earlier forecast of 3.7 per cent. It warned higher prices would erode consumer purchasing power by €6bn in the first quarter.

“The Russian onslaught is slowing the economy through a combination of significantly higher commodity prices, sanctions, increasing supply bottlenecks for raw materials and intermediate products, and increased economic uncertainty,” said Timo Wollmershäuser, head of forecasts at Ifo.

Europe’s largest economy expanded 2.9 per cent last year. Despite a contraction in the final three months of 2021, growth had been expected to accelerate this year, boosted by the lifting of…

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