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Unclear how deep and lasting Germany's economic problems are

 It is unclear if Germany's recent economic setbacks are a one-off or a more lasting phenomenon caused by structural problems, particularly in its car industry, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said in remarks published on Saturday.
 
Struggling to adjust to new emission testing standards, Germany's car manufacturing contracted in the third quarter, dragging overall economic growth into negative territory and raising fears that Europe's five-year-old growth run may be coming to a premature end.
The Bundesbank said in a monthly economic report last month that Germany's dominant car industry may take longer than previously thought to recover from a slump, weighing on growth in the euro zone's biggest economy.
 
"The most important economic question for Europe is whether these are one-off slowdowns or whether structural factors are behind them," ECB's Governing Council member Nowotny said in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard, discussing the prospect of a second quarter of negative growth in Germany.
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