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Business Words in the News
Friday 19 October 2001
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Mr Eichel
German Economy
Summary: The German government has slashed its forecast for economic growth this year, blaming the downturn in the United States. This report from Patrick Bartlett.
The News Listen  
  In a television interview Mr Eichel confirmed what many already feared; Europe's biggest economy has virtually ground to a halt. German unemployment has been rising all year, while business confidence has plunged.

The country's faltering growth poses an acute dilemma for the government. With elections just a year away, there is growing pressure either to cut taxes or to increase public spending to stimulate the economy. But in his interview, Mr Eichel all but ruled that out. Reducing Germany's public debt has been one of the government's key commitments, and, though he admitted it would be difficult, Mr Eichel promised to stick to his strict budget target with an iron will.

The lack of room for manoeuvre at home means the political pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to provide a further growth-boosting cut in interest rates. After last week's decision to keep rates on hold, the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder could barely conceal his frustration.

The Words Listen
  virtually ground to a halt
has almost stopped growing altogether

gone downhill suddenly

weakening, shaky

  poses an acute dilemma
has produced a difficult problem

  stimulate the economy
boost the economy

  public debt
the total amount of money owed by the Government

  key commitments
most significant promises

  lack of room for manoeuvre
a very limited range of options

  barely conceal his frustration
hardly control his annoyance


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