What A Surprise!

When prices rise, people buy less. Who would have expected that?

German retail sales post surprise plunge in December amid rising prices – German retail sales unexpectedly fell in December as a Christmas shopping period weighed down by high inflation and the energy crisis revived fears of a more marked slowdown in Europe’s largest economy.

Retail sales decreased by 5.3% in December compared with the previous month, the federal statistics office said on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.2% rise in price-adjusted terms.

German Of The Day: Rezessionsängste

That means recession fears.

German economy unexpectedly shrinks in Q4, reviving spectre of recession – The German economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter, data showed on Monday, a sign that Europe’s largest economy may be entering a much-predicted recession, though likely a shallower one than originally feared.

Gross domestic product decreased 0.2% quarter on quarter in adjusted terms, the federal statistics office said. A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast the economy would stagnate.

German Of The Day: Abschmieren

That means to slide or to crash.

Deutschland schmiert wirtschaftlich ab – Germany is sliding down the economic slope.

Economically, Germany can no longer keep up with the USA, Scandinavia and Western Europe.

According to a study by the “Stiftung Familienunternehmen” (Family Business Foundation), Germany is slipping dramatically in terms of competitiveness: among 21 industrialized nations, Germany now ranks only 18th!

Export This

Germany still exports cars like hotcakes.

But China exports more.

China’s car exports surpass Germany’s after 54.4 per cent surge to 3.11 million in 2022, narrowing Japan’s lead – China has surpassed Germany to become the world’s second-largest car exporter after mainland exports jumped 54.4 per cent year on year to 3.11 million vehicles in 2022, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Soaring Interest Rates, Weakening Economy, Record Inflation…

What’s not to like?

Oh, yeah. Commercial real estate is taking a dive now too.

German Real Estate Deals Plunged 50% in Fourth Quarter, BNP Says

Germany’s real estate market took a deep hit in the fourth quarter as investors shied away from deals on the back of soaring financing costs.

Total investments in the country’s commercial property sector only reached €9.9 billion ($10.6 billion) in the last three months of 2022, a decline of 50% compared with the five-year average for the period, according to a report released by BNP Paribas’ real estate unit on Monday. The development is largely due to soaring interest rates, a weakening economy and record inflation, it said.

Things Are Not Looking Good

Because things are looking better.

Because once things start looking better, they can only get worse.

German businesses expect only mild recession as disruptions ease – German companies expect only a mild recession next year despite headwinds from the energy crisis, raw material shortages and a tepid global economy, a survey of major associations published by Reuters on Tuesday showed.

There have been growing signs that the German economy could stave off the worst of an economic downturn triggered by a plunge in energy supply from Russia after the Ukraine invasion.

Inflation to 11.3% in November from a high of 11.6% the month prior as energy prices eased. The German government has predicted the economy will grow by 1.4% this year and next year.

Try To Remember…

The kind of December
When gas was there and temps so mellow…

Nobody said “saving the planet” would be easy.

Snow covers Germany amid gas crunch – As Germany experienced its coldest December in a decade, the government implored residents to exercise restraint on turning up the heat.

“Germany is still very, very far from having its gas needs totally covered for the next two years. Because of this, in spite of the cold, I implore you to exercise restraint with gas use.”

Industrious Germans?

Yeah, I read about those once. Looks like it’s been quite a while since then, though.

Tesla’s Berlin Hub Can’t Hire Enough People, or Keep Them – The company’s staffing problems have been magnified in Germany, where it is unable to meet targets as more workers head for the exit.

“Some people are off sick longer than they’ve actually worked. There are people who I haven’t seen working for three weeks in six months. Many people are signed off sick because the motivation isn’t there.”

German Of The Day: Energiepreis-Stoppschild

That means energy price stop sign.

This is a brilliant new German invention (both the word and the concept) meaning that energy providers must first explain why they will be raising prices before going ahead and raising them anyway. Thanks German government (the ones who created this energy crisis in Germany in the first place), German citizens are most certainly saying, we wouldn’t be able to sleep soundly at night without you.

Germany to force energy providers to justify future price hikes – The German government plans to allow energy providers to raise prices next year only if objectively justified, the economy ministry said on Saturday, denying a media report that Berlin planned a ban on all energy price hikes for consumers.