Growth ground to a halt in the second half of 2018, but figures out today showed that the economy gathered pace in 2019, expanding by 0.4% in the first quarter compared with the previous three months. Any cheering will be muted. Part of the recovery reflects the fading of temporary disruptions last year: car production was held up by changes to emissions-testing rules, and low water levels in the Rhine delayed goods shipments. The ZEW survey of firms’ economic sentiment, released yesterday, shows that businesses are still gloomy. That could reflect the trade war between America and China, two of Germany’s three largest export markets. The deadline for America to decide whether to slap tariffs on European cars—May 18th—is also looming. Even though they would hit Germany hardest, the initial effect is likely to be modest. But repeated rounds of tariffs, or a general slowdown in trade, could slam the brakes on growth.

which one is "muted" ? the passive verb or the adj? and what does the sentence mean?

  • 2
    It means "this is not terrific" or words to that effect. As for the grammar, if it were passive, the verb would be to mute, which is a causative verb meaning 'cause to become mute'; rather like the verb silence from the noun related to silent. So it would be a transform of Somebody will mute any cheering. That's a threat, like Any cheering will be punished. The other interpretation means 'Any cheering will be muted cheering', which is the right sense in context. – John Lawler Jun 11 at 14:02
  • got it, thank you so much – wtdark Jun 11 at 14:25

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