The end of the corona lockdown got the German economy going again in the spring. The gross domestic product (GDP) grew compared to the previous quarter between April and June by 1.5 percent, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on the basis of preliminary data. In the first three months of the year, the economy had slumped by 2.1 percent. The reason was the third corona wave.
With the opening of the retail trade, consumer spending in Germany has increased significantly. Experts expect the pace of growth to accelerate in the summer months. Economic output could already reach the pre-crisis level in the current third quarter.
Experts expected more
However, the delta variant of the coronavirus, which is spreading worldwide, is also considered a risk for the economy. The industry is also still heavily burdened by disrupted supply chains and a lack of preliminary products. Many companies are currently only able to process their orders with a long delay.
Economists assume that the German economy will grow by 3.2 to 3.9 percent this year – according to the forecasts of the research institutes. The Bundesbank had recently raised its forecast. The monetary authorities are now assuming that economic output will increase by 3.7 percent.
For the second quarter, experts had expected a somewhat stronger economic growth. “That is a bit of a disappointment,” said Jens-Oliver Niklasch, an economist at LBBW. “After all, you can see that the economy will take off as soon as the pandemic-related restrictions are relaxed.” According to Thomas Gitzel, chief economist at VP Bank, it would have “been enough for more if it had not been for the shortage of materials”.
Stronger growth in southern Europe
Representatives of the German industry urged caution. “The current good situation in the German economy must not hide the threat of economic risks,” says Joachim Lang, General Manager of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). The general manager of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Martin Wansleben, declared that the way out of the crisis was “not a sure-fire success”. Much depends on the further course of the pandemic.
What helps German exporters: The economy is also recovering noticeably in other European countries. The growth between April and June was particularly strong in Portugal (4.9 percent) and Austria (4.3 percent). The major economies of Spain (2.8 percent) and Italy (2.7 percent) also posted strong gains. Overall, economic output in the eurozone increased by two percent in the second quarter.