EXCLUSIVE: Germany sees 5 billion euros windfall due to lower borrowing costs - sources

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany sees much lower borrowing costs than expected due to record-low yields and this could create additional fiscal room of roughly 5 billion euros this year, maybe more, two people familiar with Berlin's budget planning told Reuters on Thursday.

In its 2019 federal budget, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has initially earmarked 17.6 billion euros ($19.36 billion) for debt servicing costs.

But lower-than-expected borrowing costs stemming from the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy and worldwide demand for scarcer "safe haven" bonds mean Berlin is now reckoning on a sum between 10 and 13 billions euros, a person familiar with the government's budget planning told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Two other budget experts said Germany's borrowing costs could come in between 12 and 13 billion euros at the end of this year.

From January to June, German borrowing costs stood only at 4.9 billion euros, a Finance Ministry document showed, with Berlin actually making money with its old debt in the months of March, May and June due to negative yields.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel)

09/12/2019 10:26

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