Is the Eurozone’s German engine now stuttering and backfiring?

Gloomy economic news out of EU’s largest economy – and not “because of Brexit”

The Eurozone’s economic powerhouse isn't looking in good shape - even beer sales are down

Imagine if the UK’s Office for National Statistics released its latest reports on industrial production and retail sales, and reported the following gloomy news :-

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Germany - June 2019 - Industrial production & retail sales

  • -1.5% - fall in industrial production on the previous month (price, seasonally and calendar adjusted)
  • -5.2% - fall in industrial production on the same month a year earlier (price and calendar adjusted)
  • -1.6% - fall in retail sales on the same month a year earlier (price and calendar adjusted)
  • -2.7% - fall in beer sales in the first half of 2019

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

Over three separate reports, the German federal statistics agency also stated :-

“In June 2019, production in industry excluding energy and construction was down by 1.8%. Within industry, the production of intermediate goods decreased by 2.0% and the production of capital goods by 1.8%.

“The production of consumer goods showed a decrease by 1.4%. Outside industry, energy production was down by 1.6% in June 2019 and the production in construction increased by 0.3%.”

“According to provisional data turnover in retail trade in June 2019 was in real terms 1.6%… smaller than in June 2018.”

“The beer producing and storing establishments in Germany sold 4.6 billion litres of beer in the first half of 2019. That was a decrease of 2.7% from the corresponding period of the previous year.”

- Germany’s official statistics agency Destatis, reports of 31 Jul, 01 Aug, and 07 Aug 2019

Are readers buying fewer BMWs and drinking less German lager?

Brexit Facts4EU.Org assumes that Remain MPs will explain away the weakening German economy by blaming Brexiteers for buying fewer BMWs and Audis, and preferring British brands of beer over German ones.

Alternatively they might choose to blame President Trump and his desire to redress some of the imbalance in tariffs between the US and the EU?

Or perhaps Remain MPs will point to the shaky global trade relations with China? On this last point we would just mention that the decline in Germany started before these latest problems with China began.

If the German engine stutters, the rest of the Eurozone is down to one cylinder

Germany’s economy is 44% bigger than the next-largest Eurozone economy, France. It dominates the Eurozone playing field.

Below is a chart showing the relative sizes of each economy in 2018, according to the EU’s official statistics agency.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

Map of the Eurozone countries

Eurozone Internal

The EU member states using the Euro as their currency are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Observations

Few ordinary voters are interested in the ins and outs of economic statistics. We hope that our quick synopsis of the latest figures out of the German federal statistics office – together with the context of the Germany economy’s position within the Eurozone – have nevertheless been useful.

Germany has a massive trading surplus with the UK. Right now this is looking in serious danger of being eroded, unless German industry exerts some influence in Berlin.

One thing which is not generally understood in the UK is that German industrialists have benefited enormously from the EU. It would not be unfair to say that their economic success has been predicated on the captive market represented by the EU’s Customs Union of 28 countries.

And the UK is their top customer, as we have shown in previous reports.

With other export markets for German companies now under threat, it remains to be seen whether the combination of declining sales globally, and the imminent prospect of losing the UK as a tariff-free customer, will produce a more pragmatic approach out of Berlin.

Finally, we hope we can persuade more readers to support us with a donation at this crucial time for Brexit. We only survive - barely - on public donations. Easy and secure donation methods are below and we individually acknowledge every donation we receive. Thank you.

[ Sources: Destatis - German federal statistics agency | Eurostat ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 08 Aug 2019

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