German Economy Recovering – Long-Term Approach Needed to Economic Policy: Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2013
An upwards tendency re-emerged in the German economy in spring 2013. The situation in the financial markets has eased thanks to subsiding uncertainty regarding the future of the European Monetary Union. The headwind in the world economy has also tailed off somewhat. The institutes expect gross domestic product in Germany to increase by 0.8% this year (68%-projection interval: 0.1% to 1.5%) and by 1.9% next year. The number of unemployed should continue to fall to an annual average of 2.9 million this year and 2.7 million in 2014. The inflation rate is expected to drop to 1.7% this year and edge up to 2.0% next year on the back of rising capacity utilisation. The public budget will be almost balanced in 2013 and should show a surplus of 0.5% in relation to gross domestic product in 2014 thanks to more favourable economic conditions. It is now time to readopt a longer-term approach to economic policy. Although structural adjustment processes implemented in the crisis-afflicted countries have started to deal with institutional problems in the euro area, they are far from resolved. The German public budget also faces massive long-term burdens related to demographic factors.