Germany trims 2015 growth forecast to 1.7 percent, citing weakness in China and elsewhere

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The German government has trimmed its 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, 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, which has raised some concerns over damage to the image of German companies, "has no enduring effect" on current economic forecasts and they've already taken account of the likely effects on tax income from the company.

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.