German economy: Just before the recession

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High investment, low unemployment figures, The German economy is buzzing, and as you might think. However, the Figures of the Federal statisticians speak a different language. And now the Brexit.

The German economy is almost rams to a slight recession is over. The gross domestic product (GDP) stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2018, is the first estimate of the Federal Statistical office in Wiesbaden. In the third quarter, the economy had shrunk by 0.2 percent for the first Time since the beginning of 2015. A recession is spoken in the case of two negative quarters in a row. These were the last of the year 2012/13.

In the total year 2018, Europe’s largest economy grew by 1.4 percent, slightly lower than initially calculated. In January, the Wiesbaden-based Agency was assumed to be an increase in GDP of 1.5 percent. 2018 the ninth year of Growth in a row, however, has slowed down the pace significantly.

“Germany came in with a black eye,” said DekaBank Economist Andreas Scheuerle. “Of course, this was not due to the negative special factors, such as the admission of problems in the automotive industry or in low water.” A strong Comeback in the current first quarter is made according to experts, no matter. “The early indicators have recently fallen more and advance we have with the Brexit, and the trade dispute with two major risks,” warned LBBW chief economist Uwe Burkert. “For 2019, we are more cautious on the economy.”

It is up to the consumer

Impetus came in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Federal office, especially from the domestic market. The company invested more in buildings, machinery, and other equipment. The consumer spending rose slightly. The government consumption expenditures, including social benefits and salaries of employees increased significantly.

The foreign trade, provided, however, no impetus for growth. The weaker global economy and the trade conflict with the United States weighed on exports. The problems of the auto industry with the new emission standard of measurement WLTP about led to cutbacks in Production and lower sales. The low water disabled in turn, the inland navigation, such as on the Rhine.

For the current year have clouded the Outlook. The Federal government is expecting the lowest growth since 2013. It is rich in 2019 only to an increase of smooth a per cent, after last year, one and a half percent. As the risks of a disorderly Brexit and the trade dispute with the United States apply.

rb/djo (afp, dpa, rtr)