Jul 25, 2019

Analysts say a German recession "looks unavoidable"

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Germany's manufacturing sector has been contracting all year, and its economy is at serious risk of falling into recession.

The state of play: Things continue to worsen for Europe's largest economy. This month its manufacturing sector showed its worst reading in 7 years, a continuation of a crumbling industry that just last month saw the sharpest slide in factory orders since the financial crisis.

  • In April, analysts at IHS Markit warned that the manufacturing sector was "clearly in deep recession" and companies had begun laying off workers.
  • "A large fall in the PMI is of course worrisome, particularly if it is a fall from a level that was already low," Jeromin Zettelmeyer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, tells Axios. "There is volatility in these numbers, so I would not panic, but I am indeed worried."

The big picture: The news is particularly bad, given that the European Commission had just written Germany's expected 2019 GDP growth down to 0.5%, and that was including higher expectations for July's manufacturing numbers.

What's next: Finance ministers from across Europe implored Germany to unleash fiscal stimulus measures in a report from the European Fiscal Board earlier this month. But calls for increased spending from Germany have been coming since February and thus far have not been heeded.

  • "The high dependence on exports and the Chinese sales market is increasingly becoming a burden and the trade dispute hangs like a sword of Damocles over the one-time poster boy of the euro region," said Patrick Hussy, a director at global investment research group Sentix. "A recession looks unavoidable."

Go deeper: Germany is Europe's most economically dangerous country

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