A panel of advisers to the German government slashed its growth forecast for this year to 0.8%.

The group also warned that risks related to Britain's departure from the European Union, trade disputes and a sharper than expected slowdown in China remained high. 

The group, which advises the German government on economic policy, had in November forecast that Europe's largest economy would expand by 1.5% this year. 

The panel said that economic growth had slowed significantly, partly due to problems in the chemical and auto sectors and warned that a spiral of protectionist measures had the potential to push the economy into recession. 

But Christoph Schmidt, one of the advisers, said: "The German economic boom is over but a recession is not currently expected due to the robust domestic economy." 

The group predicted the German economy would grow by 1.7% in 2020.