Germans savour success as euro storm brews

From where he is standing, it is hard to imagine sunnier economic weather. His firm has recently created nearly 3 000 new jobs at home and abroad – where it has been expanding in non-euro zone countries such as Poland and Turkey – and expects sales to rise this year.

“The feeling of looming crisis that people have is still vague, undefined,” said Frobel. “And you see this in their continued willingness to go out and buy.”

Hanover, a bustling industrial and trading hub in northern Germany, is a world away from the recession engulfing Greece, Spain and other parts of Europe. Life, for Germans, is as it should be. Unemployment is at 20-year lows and exports are at record levels. (more)corporate german investment apartment

German consumer morale unexpectedly improves – GfK

BERLIN, June 26 (Reuters) – Consumer morale in Germany unexpectedly edged up going into July on improving income expectations, but worries over the euro zone crisis risk hurting consumption in the months ahead, a survey by GfK market research group showed on Tuesday.

Other recent data has suggested Europe’s biggest economy is losing stamina as austerity measures and worries over the crisis hit investment and exports.

The forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator, however, rose to 5.8 heading into July from 5.7 in June, bolstered by a jump in income expectations to 40.1 from 32.0. The reading bucked expectations in a Reuters poll of 24 economists for a drop to 5.6. (more)

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UK inward investment to be overtaken by Germany in 2 years

London, Wednesday 20 June 2012: The UK remains Europe’s top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) but will lose its crown to Germany within two years  unless action is taken, according to Ernst & Young’s annual UK Attractiveness Survey out today.

The report, which analyses inward investment and the attitudes of global investors, shows that the UK attracted 679 projects in 2011 creating nearly 30,000 jobs.

However, the UK suffered a 7% decline in overall projects, with financial services investment, a traditional source of FDI, dropping by 15%. In contrast, Germany’s share of overall inward investment rose by 15% – leaving it only 2% behind the UK. For the first time in 15 years Germany secured a higher share of manufacturing projects and overtook the UK in securing investment from Japan. Germany also swept up investment from the BRIC countries, winning twice as many FDI projects from Chinese businesses. (more)

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German Property Market Soars Amid Euro Crisis

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German real estate market prices have increased sharply over the last two years as investors look for solid returns and safe havens in the midst of the euro crisis. That has some worried about the formation of a bubble that could collapse if the German economy falters.

At first glance the two story office building tucked away in the town of Nordhausen seems unremarkable. The boxy building north of Erfurt, the capital of the eastern German state of Thuringia, is painted yellow and comes with a parking lot. Though part of the first floor already has a reliable renter, another part suffered fire damage earlier this year. Still, it’s in a desirable location.

In a catalog for an auction early this month in central Berlin, the property was listed for €48,000 ($60,355). But by the end of an intense 15-minute bidding war between two remote buyers and a gentleman in the back of the airy atrium, it went for almost double the asking price: €90,000 ($113,166). The top bidder turned out to be an investor from western Germany. (more)


Germany’s real estate industry conference held in Berlin

Germany’s real estate industry has met in Berlin for its annual conference. And the outlook is excellent. Germany’s labour market is steady; interest rates are low, as are property prices. Thus Germany’s real estate market has become highly attractive to foreign investors.

Another reason why rents are rising is Germany’s ambitious energy transition. Renovating buildings to become more energy efficient is to cut CO2 emission by 40 percent by the end of the decade. But homeowners, who invest, pass the costs on to their tenants. Already 4.5 million households rely on social benefits to pay for their rent and the state is often unwilling to pay the extra money.

Outside the venue several hundred demonstrators protested against the meeting. Under the slogan “No Return from Rents, No Profit from this City” they believe the booming real estate market was allowing for rising rents and an increasing housing shortage as it was beckoning with profit. (more)

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