The German government slightly lowered its growth forecast today to 1.7% for this year, blaming an economic slowdown in China and other emerging markets.

But it also confirmed its prediction of a 1.8% expansion next year. 

In April, the government had forecast growth of 1.8% for Europe's largest economy for this year. 

"The German economy is continuing to grow. It remains on track despite the subdued outlook for the global economy with weaker growth in China and commodity-rich emerging markets," Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. 

The Economy Ministry estimated exports would surge by 5.4% this year and by 4.2% next year while imports would increase by 5.9% and 5.3% respectively. 

That means foreign trade will only make a small contribution to growth this year. Private consumption will probably be the only pillar of support next year, the ministry said. 

The ministry expects domestic demand to rise by 1.7% this year and 2.1% next year, compared with April's forecasts for gains of 2% and 1.8% respectively. 

It also revised up its estimates for government spending to an increase of 2.3% this year and a gain of 2% next year, mainly due to higher spending for refugees.