German government lowers tax estimate as economy flags

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BERLIN (AP) — The German government is preparing for a smaller rise in tax revenue as growth in Europe's biggest economy wanes.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Thursday that tax takings are forecast to be 124.3 billion euros ($140 billion) lower through 2023 than the government had predicted last fall.

The German state has enjoyed record revenues in recent years thanks to low unemployment and steady wage growth, leading to calls for greater public spending.

But Scholz warned earlier this year that "the fat years are over" even as he stressed his commitment to a balanced budget.

The government recently lowered its growth expectations for this year to 0.5 from a forecast of 1.8% just last December.

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