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German exports subdued in coming months, warns finance ministry

By Philip Smith

Global issues impacting manufacturing but the domestic economy remains strong

The German economy is struggling to deal with a myriad of global impacts from trade wars, the UK leaving the EU and the rise in demand for electric vehicles, something its large car makers have failed to keep pace with.

It has prompted the German finance ministry to issue warnings that exports are likely to remain subdued in the coming months.

But is the powerhouse behind the Eurozone about to go into recession? Only last month Germany was reporting strong exports to the US, which helped Europe’s largest economy avoid a recession in the third quarter. It came after data showing German exporters posted their biggest rise in almost two years In September, with positive figures again in October. Exports have increased in seven of the last 10 months, reports Reuters.

So why the gloom? As the German economy is heavily dependent on exports, the US trade skirmishes with China and, to a lesser degree the EU, have sent a shiver through the usually robust economy.

However, the finance ministry did add that Germany’s robust labour market should continue to support its domestic economy. But it is that cocktail of trading conditions that led the government to issue its warning.

The German economy is expected to grow by around 0.5% in 2019 with a modest improvement to just under 1% for 2020.

FURTHER READING: Germany’s economic affairs minister calls for EU hard line on Big Tech

FURTHER READING: German manufacturing falls for fourth consecutive month

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