Germany In Tears?

Have Brits already stopped buying German products?

German exports to UK drop again, by 3.4% in first nine months of 2019. This is on top of an 8% fall from 2015 to 2018, since the Referendum. The latest official figures out of Germany show that its goods exports to the UK have continued to fall this year.


Germany’s falling exports to the UK. • In the first 9 months of 2019, Germany’s goods exports to the UK have fallen by a further €2.1 billion-This is on top of an 8% fall from 2015 to 2018-The downward trend of goods trade with the United Kingdom observed since the Brexit referendum is persisting”-Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), Germany’s official statistics agency, 2019 as  Brexit gets blamed by the Germans.

A few weeks ago Germany’s state-funded media outlet Deutsche Welle headlined an article:
“German businesses already incurring Brexit losses, says industry boss”. “German businesses have already been suffering from the negative effects of Brexit, said Holger Bingmann, head of the foreign trade industry group BGA, pointing out losses to German exporters worth €3.5 billion this year”. 

What about Germany’s economy as a whole? The German media these days is full of stories about the worsening economic situation in their country. Only yesterday, a KPMG report presented a gloomy picture on foreign direct investment into Germany.

Foreign direct investment in Germany plummets.• Foreign direct investment in Germany declined by two-thirds in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Only 24% of US companies asked, intend to invest €10 million or more in the next three years in Germany. • This compares with 47% in 2017. That’s a 50% drop in US companies planning major investments in Germany – in just one year. “Surely the uncertainty of Brexit plays a role”, says Germany’s state-funded media Deutsche Welle. There has been a marked drop in the value of goods exports from Germany to the UK since the Referendum.

There are of course many reasons for this, including the crisis in Germany’s once-dominant car industry since the scandal over diesel emissions. Nevertheless, Germany’s problems go deeper. With half as many US firms planning major investments in Germany over the next three years, and manufacturing confidence falling, only an increase in domestic consumer spending prevented Germany from falling into recession in the last quarter. Readers may wish to imagine how the BBC would present all the bad news coming out of Germany, if all this were happening in the UK instead of Germany.

Buy British? Various ‘Buy British’ campaigns have sprung up in recent years. Long may they continue!

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