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Expand chart
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

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.