German experts lower growth forecast, urge cuts

Economy specialist Wolfgang Franz, left, hands over the prognosis for Germany's economy in the upcoming year to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN (AP) — The German government's independent economic advisors are lowering their growth forecast for next year and urging the government to reduce spending.

The experts said Wednesday the economy will grow by only 0.8 percent next year as the European debt crisis weighs on the outlook of the bloc's biggest economy.

They say in their report handed to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble that the government "must be significantly more ambitious" in slashing its deficit.

Germany has seen tax revenues rise to new records amid robust growth and low unemployment but, as other eurozone countries falter, its economy is slowing.

The government last month lowered its 2013 growth forecast to 1 percent from 1.6 percent. It expects 0.8 percent growth this year.