German government sees 2021 GDP growth of 3% - source

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General view of empty streets in a business district in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government expects Europe's largest economy to grow by 3% this year, a government official told Reuters, a sharp downward revision from last autumn's estimate of 4.4% caused by November's imposition of a second coronavirus lockdown.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is due to present the government's official forecast next week. The new number was first reported by Der Spiegel magazine earlier on Friday.

Although a string of recent indicators have shown Europe's largest economy weathering the global pandemic better than many had expected, the advent of the virus's second wave in the fourth quarter dealt a blow to hopes of a swift recovery.

The government introduced a lockdown in November, and tightened measures further in December and January, crippling the already beleaguered retail, hospitality and tourism industries.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen, Thomas Seythal and Christian Kraemer, writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Caroline Copley)