BERLIN: The German government on Wednesday stuck to its economic growth forecast of 1.7 per cent for this year, despite a slowdown in emerging markets, as strong domestic demand replaces exports as the main pillar of Europe’s largest economy. “Germany’s economic upswing will continue this year and next,” Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. “Our growth model has become more domestically driven.” Other eurozone countries were benefiting from Germany demand, which was drawing more foreign goods, Gabriel added. In 2017, the government expects economic growth to slow to 1.5 per cent, mainly because of extraneous effects such as more public holidays falling on normal week days, Gabriel said.