The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)/by bennypeiser
Its main industry is in freefall. Its political system is descending into chaos. The banking system is in crisis, and consumer demand is stuck in the doldrums. Which country? It is, of course, Germany.
The nation once known as Europe’s powerhouse, and the locomotive of the entire eurozone, is slowly turning into its sick man instead.
That is partly a German story, of course, but it is also a global one. When the world’s fourth-largest economy runs into trouble, it has repercussions far beyond its own borders. Such as? Germany’s stagnating economy will make the eurozone more unstable than ever, it will make the European Union more protectionist, it will destabilise global trade at the worst possible time, and may well trigger a financial crisis. It is going to be one of the most dangerous trends of the 2020s.
When Germany released its industrial production figures yesterday, they were predictably awful. Output dropped by 5.3pc over the same month a year ago, the worst reading since the depths of the last recession in 2009.
In truth, this is more than just a cyclical slowdown. The German economy may well be the sick man of Europe for the next decade. True, that will largely be a German matter. But it will also impact the rest of the world in four specific ways.