Dec 9, 4:10 AM EST

Germany's central bank has increased its growth forecast this year and next for the country's economy, Europe's biggest

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BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's central bank has increased its growth forecast this year and next for the country's economy, Europe's biggest.

The Bundesbank said Friday that it expects gross domestic product to rise 1.8 percent in both 2016 and 2017. In June, it had forecast growth of 1.7 this year and 1.4 percent next year.

The central bank said the economy is "on a sound upward path." Bank chief Jens Weidmann said: "Its main driver is buoyant domestic demand, which is being bolstered by the favorable situation in the labor market and by rising household income."

The Bundesbank is forecasting growth of 1.6 percent in 2018 and 1.5 percent in 2019.

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