Germany in PANIC: Business morale TUMBLES in latest blow for German economy

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
By Paul Martin

GERMANY has seen business morale tumble for a fourth month in a row in the latest of a string of negative data releases for Europe’s biggest economy.

Tue, Dec 18, 2018

The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said its business climate index fell to 101.0, its lowest level in more than two years. Fears have been growing in recent months that Germany could be seeing a downturn in its economy boom, with the government this week slashing growth forecast for next year. Blame has pointed toward trade frictions, with Germany being particularly sensitive to movements in the United States-China trade war, as well as political uncertainty surrounding Britain leaving the European Union (EU) and the terms of Brexit. Ifo chief Clemens Fuest forecast Germany as being braced for a “lean festive season”.

He said: “Concern is growing among German businesses.

“Companies were less satisfied with their current business situation.

“Their business expectations also continued to deteriorate.

“The German economy faces a lean festive season.”

If economist Klaus Wohlrabe said the German economy was slowing but there was no recession in sight.

This week saw Economy Minister Peter Altmaier acknowledge a slowdown in growth in recent months as he predicted economic expansion of around 1.5 to 1.6 percent, below his previous forecast of 1.8 percent.

Mr Altmaier told members of Germany’s foreign press association in Berlin: “Growth somewhat slowed in the past months as it did in many other countries.

“For the year as a whole, we’ll have growth of around 1.5 percent to 1.6 percent.”

However, the government expects fortunes to reverse and the economic powerhouse to enter its 10th year of expansion in 2019, Mr Altmaier added.

In April, the German government had predicted economic growth of 2.3 percent for this year.

This forecast was downgraded in October to 1.8 percent.

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