Vigorous upswing continues
The worldwide upswing has gained momentum since last autumn. The main cause for the high growth dynamics is a monetary policy that is very expansive not only in advanced economies, where the utilization rates for production capacities are mostly still low, but also in emerging market economies that in general have already recovered from the Great Recession. The German economy participates in the worldwide upswing. Here the recovery is ahead of those in most other advanced economies. Both exports and domestic demand are strongly expanding. One reason for the high growth dynamics is that key interest rates are particularly low for Germany, as the ECB has to take into account that many euro area economies are much more fragile. In addition, Germany still benefits from the wage moderation and the labour market reforms in the past decade: employment is expanding strongly, and firms find many profitable investment projects. Major risks for this forecast are structural problems of some advanced economies that had become visible during the Great Recession and are still unresolved (concerning the US housing market and the crisis of confidence in the fiscal sustainability of some euro area countries in particular). A further risk is the possibility of further oil price hikes due to political instability in North Africa and the Middle East.