Productivity?

What’s that? I live in Berlin.

Productivity

Asked which region in Europe has been the absolute worst at realizing its economic potential, most people probably wouldn’t name Berlin. The German capital isn’t just nice to live in, it’s throbbing with excitement; a startup is reportedly created here every 20 minutes, and if you leave for a night out, you risk not coming back for a week. But according to a study of the economic performance of European regions, Berlin is indeed the worst.

What is more important: productivity or a city’s peculiar, esoteric feel? Berlin is one of the places where this question is especially poignant.

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Are We Having A Recession Yet?

I don’t get it. I thought the German boom had boomed out. That’s all they’ve been talking about here for the past few months. More fake news, I guess.

April

Speaking of employmentGerman Joblessness Falls in Sign of Confidence in Growth Rebound – German unemployment continued its decline, suggesting companies are keeping faith in the prospects for Europe’s largest economy.

The number of jobless people fell 12,000 in April, more than economists expected, to 2.22 million. The labor agency said demand for workers continues to be very high.

This is the lowest unemployment rate for April in 30 years.

Arbeitslosigkeit – niedrigster Aprilwert seit 30 Jahren

Above Average?

Germany’s labor costs above EU average? Sure. But take a closer look. Forget about Eastern Europe.

Cost

Germany is one of the lowest when it comes to labor costs in Western Europe. And maybe there’s a connection here somewhere but it’s unemployment rate is also one the lowest.

“This convergence of relative labor costs results from the fact that in countries with low labor costs, growth rates have been well above those of countries with already high labor costs for many years.”

German Of The Day: Unsicherheit

That means uncertainty. You know, like economic uncertainty?

Export

German exports fell by 1.3% in February compared with the month before, the Federal Statistics Office said on Monday. The figure represents the biggest drop in export revenue for a year…

Economists say that uncertainties surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU, the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China as well as weakening demand for industrial products are weighing on economies across the world.

“Die Ungewissheit aufgrund der vielen ungelösten Konflikte schlägt sich in den Auftragsbüchern nieder.”

German Of The Day: Abkühlung

That means cooling or cooling off.

Cooling

You know, like German growth predicted to stall during 2019 in significant Abkühlung?

Germany’s economy could experience a “significant cooling” in 2019 and could see sharply lower growth this year, the country’s leading economic institutes have warned in a report compiled for Germany’s economics ministry.

Forecasts for German growth were revised significantly downwards in a ‘Joint Economic Forecast’ collated by several prominent German economic research institutes and published Thursday, with economists predicting a meager 0.8% this year.

This is more than one percentage point lower than a prediction for 1.9% made in a joint economic forecast in fall 2018.

“The long-term upswing of the German economy has come to an end.”

German Of The Day: Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei

That means the “fat” (good) years are over.

Fat

Merkel Doesn’t Want to Tell Germans the Good Times May Be Over – The leaders preparing to take over when Merkel steps aside are worried too. They say voters could be caught unawares by an economic shock in the middle of the political transition from Merkel’s rule. Two senior party officials this month voiced concerns that such a double whammy could shake up the political map ahead of the next election. They asked not to be identified questioning the chancellor’s approach.

One shouldn’t undermine the economic upswing by talking it down.

German Of The Day: Auftragsschwund

That means a decrease in orders.

Auftragsschwund

Did the boom just go boom?

Orders slid 1 percent from October, and posted a year-on-year decline of 4.3 percent, the biggest in more than six years. The monthly decline was partly due to aircraft orders, which had jumped in October, as well as weakness in the euro area.

While there are questions over the outlook for the German economy, the euro area’s biggest, the Bundesbank has long expressed confidence that it will overcome the slump seen in mid-2018. Responding to the factory data on Monday, Commerzbank said the decline “should not be over interpreted.”

“Wir blicken abwärts.”

Germans Feeling Gloomy?

Wow. We’ve never had that one before.

Gloomy

The German economy is booming. Unemployment is at a near-record low. In Europe and around the world, the country is seen as a beacon of wealth and efficiency.

So what’s so mysterious about their gloom? This is Germany. Duh. How could Germans not get gloomy about a situation like that?

But maybe, just maybe, with a little luck things will start to crap out here before too long and everybody can start cheering up again.

Es war einmal ein starkes Land.

Robust Export Growth?

German exports rebounded in May, providing more evidence of a strengthening of the economy in the second quarter.

Export

Yeah, I guess that’s true. If you forget the exports last month to one particular country. Those have dropped 10% for some inexplicable reason. But I’m sure that will pick up again real soon, right?

Despite ongoing trade tensions, German exports did what they normally do: grow. In May exports increased by 1.8% MoM, from -0.3% in April. At the same time, imports increased by 0.7% MoM, from 2.6% MoM in April. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed somewhat, from EUR20.1bn to EUR19.7bn.

“Die Verunsicherung durch die Einführung von Importzöllen seitens der USA und die Gegenmaßnahmen der EU und Chinas machen sich direkt bei den Unternehmen bemerkbar.”

Deutsche Baaaank

It looks like it’s going to be a long fall.

Deutsche Bank

Sorry, I mean it already has been a long fall. But at least this fall is free.

It would be an understatement to say Deutsche Bank AG is going through a difficult period. It chalked up its third straight annual loss in 2017. The new chief executive officer, Christian Sewing, has unveiled the bank’s fourth turnaround plan in as many years, yet its shares have fallen to a record low…

How much time does the bank have? Not a lot.

Der Aktienkurs der Deutschen Bank ist auf ein neues Allzeittief gefallen. Am Mittwochmorgen notierte das Papier bei 8,76 Euro – ein Trauerspiel mit Vorgeschichte.