The Association of German BdB Banks has worsened the forecast for the growth of the German economy in 2019 to 1.8% from 1.9% amid a slowdown in private investment, Reuters reports. The decline in investment by German companies also forced the German government to lower its forecast for 2018 to 2%. The reason for the decline in investment was the shortage of skilled workers. The Association of German Banks also expects private investment in engineering and construction to increase in 2019 by 3.1%, and not by 3.6%, as it was previously predicted. The association stated that the European Central Bank should cease its negative interest rate policy.