Can Germany keep Europe on track?Lea Jakobiak
Germany has had a slew of economic data out which paints a mixed picture of the state of Europe's largest economy. As Maverick Intelligence,Chief Economist, Megan Greene explains, the pressure is now on Angela Merkel to ensure the country remains the Eurozone's growth "locomotive".
German retail sales unexpectedly fell for a second month in July, signalling an uneven recovery, but German business confidence rose to the highest level in 16 months in August, and the ZEW index of investor sentiment climbed to the strongest since March.
The latest unemployment figures showed that slightly more people were out of work in August than a month ago, but it's worth noting that the rate stayed near its lowest since the country reunified more than two decades ago.
Overall, Germany’s Bundesbank said that the economy will "normalise and stabilise" in the rest of the year, after gross domestic product grew 0.7 percent last quarter.
Megan says the main factor which has helped boost growth is that Germany has shifted its export demand from Europe to emerging markets, and this has been a successful strategy. But she warns that we are "still a long way" from Germany being able to act as the engine for growth in Europe.
In addition, Merkel only has a few weeks to go before she hopes to win a third term as German chancellor, but Megan thinks that even if she does, "not much will change" and we "will see more of the same thing".