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Country Forecast Germany September 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Germany September 2017 Updater

  • September 2017
  • ID: 1698350
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to win the largest vote share in the federal election on September 24th, significantly ahead of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). The CDU will subsequently take the lead in coalition negotiations, resulting in a new government led once again by Angela Merkel, the current chancellor, who will thus remain in office for a fourth consecutive term.
  • We expect a coalition to emerge comprising the CDU and its smaller Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), with either one or two of the smaller parties. Another CDU-SPD grand coalition is also possible, but the SPD is unlikely to want to spend another term in the shadow of Ms Merkel.
  • We expect the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) to enter parliament, marking the first time a far-right party has been represented in the German parliament in the post-war period. However, the AfD's support has fallen since 2016 and the other parties will not countenance it as a coalition partner, reducing its potential influence.
  • Germany will continue to play a substantial role on the global stage in the coming years, remaining dominant in both euro zone and EU debates, and in the Brexit negotiations, as well as shaping the bloc's response to the actions of the US, Russia and Turkey. Greater Franco-German co-operation is likely under Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, and we expect further discussion of euro zone reform and a multi-speed Europe after the election in September.
  • We forecast real GDP growth of 2.1% this year, reflecting strongly expansionary conditions in manufacturing and services, and annual average growth of 1.6% in 2018-21. Domestic demand will continue to drive growth in the coming years, but private consumption will lose momentum slightly as rising inflation offsets the gains to real incomes from a tightening labour market.
  • Consumer price inflation averaged 0.4% in 2014-16, subdued by a sharp drop in global oil prices. Oil price base effects have subsequently pushed up price growth, but underlying inflationary pressures are rising only gradually. We expect average EU harmonised consumer price inflation of 1.6% in 2017-21.
  • The external surplus will remain huge. The current-account surplus declined only slightly in 2016 from its historical high a year earlier, with the already substantial merchandise trade surplus further boosted by low oil prices. We expect a further decline, to just below 6% of GDP by 2021.


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