June 14, 2021

Off the Charts: Numbers Down, but German Mood Is Up

This month, the German central bank reduced its 2013 growth forecasts for the country. “Germany, given its high degree of openness and specialization, cannot prosper alone,” the bank said in its monthly report. “It has a particular interest in the welfare of its partners.”

But optimism seems to be returning to Germany as the New Year approaches.

The Ifo survey of more than 7,000 businesses, released this week, showed that optimism about the next six months rose this month, as it had in November after a long slide. And the German stock market is ending the year on a sharply positive note.

In part, that is because of rising hopes that the peripheral countries have made it through the worst of the crisis, with the willingness of the European Central Bank to assure access to money and of Germany to pay the bills.

Nonetheless, as can be seen from the accompanying charts, many economic indicators have yet to turn around. German job growth slowed appreciably during the summer, and hours worked declined.

Industrial production in the manufacturing industries was lower during the summer than it had been a year earlier, and the decline appears to be increasing, at least according to the figures through October. Over all, exports have continued to grow, although at a slower pace than earlier in the year, but the value of exports to other countries in the euro zone has been declining. While there is nothing new in weakness in the peripheral countries, exports to France have turned soft as well.

Whether the optimism can persist may depend on whether the soft economic statistics of the summer and fall can grow more robust as the weather gets colder.

Floyd Norris comments on finance and the economy at nytimes.com/economix.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/numbers-down-but-german-mood-is-up.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Speak Your Mind