How Germany’s south became the backbone of a vibrant economy

It is hard to imagine now that southern Germany – Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria – was very poor in the 19th century, a largely agricultural area little touched by industrialisation. After the second world war, when hard graft and financial aid via the Marshall plan resulted in Germany’s “Wirtschaftswunder” (economic miracle), the region rose to become the country’s economic powerhouse.

Today the south is Germany’s most prosperous part and home to tens of thousands of small and medium-sized privately-owned companies – known as the Mittelstand – hi-tech clusters and household names such as Daimler and Bosch. (more)

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German finmin upbeat on economy in budget debate

BERLIN, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy is cooling but fears of a sharp slowdown are overblown and there are few downside risks to the government’s forecast for 0.7 percent growth this year, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers on Tuesday.  Opening a parliamentary debate on the draft 2013 budget with a bullish speech, Schaeuble said Europe’s largest economy had become more resilient to shocks such as the global slowdown thanks to structural reforms and policies.

Germany, seen as the sick man of Europe 10 years ago, now has the lowest jobless rate since reunification in 1991 and the highest employment levels in its history, Schaeuble said. “That we are better positioned is not only obvious in (these labour market developments), but something more fundamental has changed and that gives us all confidence, also for future developments,” he told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. (more)

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German-American Economic Ties Strengthened by Machines

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 BERLIN and CHICAGO, September 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The German and American machinery industries are more interlocked than ever. Demand for German machines in the USA, Canada, and Mexico have grown by 25 percent since the beginning of the year, according to a recent report from Germany’s VDMA industry association. And with 56 projects in 5 years, the USA is the number one investor country in Germany’s machinery and equipment industry, a further sign of strong business ties. Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives at this year’s IMTS in Chicago from September 10-15 to highlight business opportunities for international companies in Germany. (more)

Germany Leads With Its Goal of 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Germany is demonstrating steady progress in unshackling itself from fossil fuel dependence by converting to renewable energy sources. Polls show that more than 80 percent of the nation favors development of homegrown wind, sun and geothermal energy alternatives and escape from importing the bulk of oil, gas or uranium from foreign sources. In economic terms, Germany is an early adopter. The large industrial power, second after China, takes on risks and costs of an untested technology. But it also shapes the world market, setting standards and a global example on energy security – not to mention creating thousands of clean-power jobs or saving countless lives by reducing pollution and conflicts over fossil fuels. Uranium, like oil or gas, is limited in supply, even though prices are temporarily low. The government’s delay in phasing out large, highly profitable nuclear power stations will slow investment in fledgling solar and wind industries – adding more uncertainty to the globe’s energy future. (more)insider german property investment

Germany is the new retail expansion hotspot

A report by Barclays says that Germany figures as their favourite site for overseas expansion, beating China and Australia. Also, two thirds of British retailers expect their overseas sales to increase in the coming five years.

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, have said that most British retailers favour Germany because the climate is much similar to Britain, so money or energy need not be spent on reinventing designs. Another possibility also cannot be discarded, that in the recessionary environment, the German economy is doing comparatively better. (more)

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Ugly No Barrier for Apartment Sales in German Boom: Mortgages

With small windows, low ceilings and drab facades, the concrete apartment blocks favored by East Germany’s communist regime are known as Plattenbauten for their prefabricated panel construction. Now they are hot properties, caught up in a German real estate boom driven by foreign investors seeking a safe place to put their money.

A sale of 38,000 Dresden apartments owned by Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG), many in the socialist-era estates, may be Germany’s next big residential deal after firms including New York-based Blackstone Group LP (BX) and Cerberus Capital Management LP made purchases that included Plattenbauten this year. (more)

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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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