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Carl Johan von Seth: German exportmonster need to change the diet

for several decades, the outside world has admired the German exportundret. But last month's figures are no miracles.

Fabriksbeställningarna in the German manufacturing falls by 7 per cent, revealed new statistics in the week. Since last spring, the International Monetary fund, the IMF, several times to write down the country's gdp figures. In the EUROPEAN commission's latest forecast is the only crisis-ridden Italy as well.

slowing the country's strength. After the financial and eurokriserna scratched Germany quickly. The unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest level since the reunification of east and west. Because the economy is so far ahead of the rest of the eurozone in the business cycle it is natural that the other – Spain, for example – in years have a higher rate of growth.

But the rapid drawing shows not only the saturation but also a weakness in the German-led growth model heavy dependent on the demand for new machines and Volkswagenbilar.

a few years, Germany's large export mainly been seen as a problem for the other. 2017 warned The Economist for ”the German problem”. The large trade surplus damaged the world, according to the analysis. The former head of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, made the same assessment. Germany exported too much and import too little.

the Catch is that one of the country's trade surplus is another country's deficit. And a deficit in the economy's current-account balance (which is a slightly broader measure than the trade balance) always correspond to an increasing debt to the rest of the world.

Link to the graphics

– a little hårdraget – sell their industrial goods on credit to already indebted countries has been seen as a contributing factor in the imbalances that led to the financial crisis. The years after the crisis, was accused also of Germany to gobble up other countries ' shrinking efterfrågekaka. It has aroused irritation, and protectionism.

Underskottsländer and international institutions have been calling for a correction. It has been done in China. The country's growth has increasingly been driven by private consumption and investment. Indeed it is Sweden.

But not Germany, which now has the world's largest trade surplus. One reason is the euro, whose low score according to the IMF gives a 10-20% sale on German goods.

instead, a domestic dilemma. At the beginning of last year it was Donald Trump who pushed the German exportmonstret with unfunded tax cuts. The dollar rose in value, the euro fell and the u.s. import demand ' increased. Germany benefited from the stimulus.

But then turned around the fortune. The united states raised the tariffs and the increasing global concern has struck with greater force than what many expected.

Sparnit and exportkraft is, admittedly, a source of German pride. But companies have put their money on high. The state goes with a surplus, households hamsters. And thrift is not necessarily a virtue if it is not matched by investment in the country. Investments in new German companies, in infrastructure and knowledge has been lacking.

slowly evolved. People's disposable income, measured as a percentage of the economy, has fallen. Consumption has also come to play an increasingly smaller role.

Germany has several worries. Employment, especially among women, needs to increase. The automotive industry rolls no longer as smooth. The economy needs more of youthful dynamism.

But an important crossroads now between exports and own consumption. The prospects of world trade are not so bright. The hope is that the German economy changing to a more närodlad diet.

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