Germany increases tax income forecast for the coming years

The German government has increased its forecast for the country's tax income over the next five years as the economy, Europe's biggest, chugs along at a steady pace.

The Finance Ministry said Thursday after a twice-yearly meeting of tax experts that it now expects total income of 732.4 billion euros ($797 billion) this year for all levels of government. That's 7.9 billion euros more than predicted in November.

For the years from 2017 to 2021, the government predicted a total 54.1 billion euros in extra tax money.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said "the updated tax estimate proves that we are on the right path and we can look to the future with confidence."

Germany holds a national election Sept. 24 in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term.