International News - Metro boss says inaction will stifle German revival

Hans-Joachim Korber, boss of German retail giant Metro, has warned that inaction by the German government is the biggest threat to the country's economic recovery.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference in New York, Korber welcomed initial discussions about tax and social security reform.

However, he warned the main risk to revival was that 'we still go ahead talking about it and not executing it'.

The German economy has suffered several years of stagnation and has, according to some data, slipped into recession. However, the most recent data available suggests the worst could be over.

Korber said: 'The big picture in Germany is better than six months ago. At the moment, the discussions focus on reform.'

He considered the leanings towards economic reform to be 'positive' and added that the Germans 'understand there is a need for reform and that has made the lives of politicians easier.'

He said: 'We are, I will not say optimistic, but more optimistic than six months ago that we will have a better (second) half.'

In July, at the time of Metro's first-half results announcement, Korber raised hopes for a recovery and said he could see a 'silver lining' on the economic cloud that has been hanging over Germany.