UPDATE 1-INTERVIEW-German firms not seeing credit squeeze-DIHK


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By Ilona Wissenbach

BRUSSELS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - German firms are generally not suffering from a credit squeeze despite the global financial crisis, said Martin Wansleben, the managing director of Germany's DIHK chambers of industry and commerce.

"We can't speak of a credit squeeze, although individual sectors are experiencing greater problems getting credit," Wansleben told Reuters in an interview.

A DIHK survey showed that only 2 percent of 8,800 firms questioned so far had received a negative response from their bank for a financing project. In a DIHK survey late last year, 6 percent had said they received a no.

However, one in five companies said credit conditions had worsened from the previous year.

Very small firms were finding it hard to obtain loans, with the auto and textiles industries particularly affected, Wansleben said in the interview which was conducted on Tuesday.

Credit conditions were at risk of deteriorating further, he said, although the economic situation in Germany was set to improve at the end of this year.

The DIHK's new growth forecast, to be published in the next few weeks, would be broadly in line with the German government's forecast, which envisages the economy shrinking by 2.25 percent in 2009.

Since World War Two, the German economy has never contracted by more than 1 percent in a year.

(Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach, via Berlin Newsroom; editing by David Stamp)



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