Germany sees brighter outlook for Europe’s largest economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The economic outlook has brightened in Europe’s largest economy. The German government on Wednesday raised its estimate for growth next year to an 0.2% expansion from a 0.4% contraction as the country manages its energy divorce from Russia and shells out support for consumers and businesses hit by higher energy costs. Germany had feared that this winter it would run out of natural gas used to power factories, generate electricity and heat homes. Mild weather helped, as did additional supplies of liquid natural gas after Russia cut off most pipeline supplies to Europe amid the war in Ukraine. German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck says high prices are a burden for consumers but that the government has “made the crisis manageable.”