Current economic situation: A silver lining on the horizon
The Federal Statistical Office has recently released the figures for second quarter GDP and its components. At the same time, the data for the past four years has been revised. This made it necessary to update the existing IWH-forecasts for 2003 and 2004. Stimulated by an improving world economy GDP will not decline this year but merely stagnate. In 2004 the external stimulus will further increase and accounting for the additional working days economic activity will rise by 1.8%. The turnaround at the labour market will not take place before the second half of 2004. Fiscal policy is currently aiming to balance the budget, but so far the government tried to achieve this goal by increasing levies and taxes. In order to maintain the growth potential, a sustainable consolidation, though, should work by means of cutting expenditure. Overall the deficit will be 4.1% and 3.9% of nominal GDP in this and next year, respectively.