An air of uncertainty looms over Germany as concerns emerge about its economical strength. This comes after the release of less than impressive official figures.
The month of April 2019 shows a decline of 1.9% in industrial production when compared to the previous month. Furthermore, exports are reported to be 0.5% lower than they were in the previous year.
The Bundesbank, which is Germany’s national central bank, has released forecasts that are not much more positive than the results mentioned above. In December of 2018, the bank had projected economic growth of 1.6% for the year 2019. That figure has now been adjusted to 0.6%. Though a minor decline is expected during the current quarter, the bank has stated that it expects the growth to rise to 1.2% in 2020.
There is also a looming cloud of uncertainty that is currently affecting the world of international trade. This is heavily affecting Germany.
Germany is only bested in exports of manufactured goods by China and the United States, which both have significantly larger economies. Therefore, the eurozone giant heavily depends on international trade.
According to the Bundesbank, some disputes are causing many of the trade issues. The entirety of Europe has been affected as a result of tariffs that are now in effect on steel and aluminum in the United States. These were put in place as the Trump administration believes that these imports were affecting national security.
The US president is also considering additional tariffs to car imports, which is likely to adversely affect Germany.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has reported that its low interest rates are remaining in effect until mid-2020. This is partially a reflection of the clouds over Germany as the initial plan was to raise the rates by 2019’s end.
While Germany has low unemployment figures, it is a worrying prospect that the eurozone’s largest economy is seeing this kind of activity.