BERLIN (AP) -- Growth in Germany will slow to a standstill next year in the wake of the global financial crisis, the government's independent panel of economic advisers forecast Wednesday.
The five-member panel predicted zero growth in 2009 in Europe's biggest economy, following growth of 1.7 percent this year.
That was more pessimistic than the government's current forecast for 2009 of 0.2 percent growth -- which was slashed last month from the previous figure of 1.2 percent.
The panel of economists cautioned in its annual report that the 2009 forecast comes with "a particularly high degree of uncertainty, with downward risks prevailing."
It also predicted an end to the three-year downward drift of unemployment in Germany, forecasting that the number of Germans registered unemployed would increase to an average 3.3 million in 2009 from 3.27 million this year.
The number of jobless Germans fell to just below 3 million in October for the first time in 16 years. The unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.
German unemployment peaked at 12.6 percent in February 2005 -- with a post-reunification record of 5.216 million people jobless.