Germany: Economy moved sideways in second half of 2018

3 min

After the slight decline in economic output in the third quarter, real GDP increased only marginally by +0.02% q/q in seasonally adjusted terms in the final quarter of 2018. Domestic demand provided positive impetus. Investment rose strongly, private and public consumption also recorded an increase. By contrast, foreign trade did not provide any impetus. Exports and imports grew at a similar rate. The Federal Statistical Office also published revised figures for the previous quarters and for 2018 as a whole. According to these figures, the German economy did not grow by +1.5% in 2018 as previously published, but by +1.4% (working-day adjusted: +1.5%). We still do not expect the economy to slide into recession. However, especially in the first half of 2019, economic momentum is likely to be lower than we had previously assumed. More than usual, the economic outlook is currently subject to a high degree of uncertainty. Apart from political risks, we see the greatest forecast uncertainty in the following areas in particular: automotive industry, foreign trade and investment demand.