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Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung zum Jahresende: Konjunktureller Dämpfer, aber keine tiefe Rezession

The German economy proved surprisingly robust at the end of this year. In the third quarter, economic output expanded quite significantly, contrary to the expectations of many forecasters. The main contributors to the expansion of GDP were private consumption and investment in equipment, which expanded even more strongly than in previous quarters. Private consumption appears to be supported by the fact that households are liquidating savings accumulated during the Corona crisis in order to catch up on purchases that had not been possible in previous years. In addition, demand for capital goods has probably been boosted by easing of supply bottle-necks. Only in energy-intensive industries has there been a fairly significant decline in production. In the winter half-year, burdens are likely to increase, particularly for private households. As a result, consumer prices are continuing to rise strongly. There are now signs that inflation has probably peaked. The electricity and gas price brakes coming into force next year will also ease the burden on private households and companies. However, the inflation rate is still expected to be 5.8% next year, com-pared with 7.9% this year. In 2024, inflation is expected to fall to 2.5%. Real disposable incomes will fall sharply again, particularly in this winter half-year. In view of rising wage settlements, private consumption is expected to expand more strongly again in the course of the coming year. Capital spending is also expected to rise more strongly again in the course of the economic recovery. All in all, GDP is expected to increase by 1.8% this year. The economic weakness is particularly noticeable in the 2023 annual rate. According to this forecast, GDP is expected to decline by an annual average of 0.1% next year. In 2024, GDP is expected to expand by 1.9%. The labor market remains robust. However, the increase in employment has slowed recently. Economic uncertainties are reducing companies' willingness to hire, and some energy-intensive companies are sending their employees back to short-time working. The number of unemployed has risen in the meantime. In the further course of 2023 and 2024, the number of people in employment is initially expected to in-crease markedly, before the rise levels off sharply towards the end of the forecast period due to demographic change. The annual average unemployment rate is expected to be 5.3% in 2022, rising to 5.5% in the coming year and returning to 5.3% in 2024. Government revenues are developing robustly over the forecast period. Revenues from corporate taxes have been surprisingly high so far in 2022 and are expected to remain at a high level. Government spending is expected to increase moderately in 2022, although Corona-related spending, especially corporate aid, is being eliminated to a large extent. Aid payments, however, are likely to remain at elevated levels over the forecast period compared with the pre-Corona years, as money is likely to flow to companies suffering from high energy prices. In addition, the federal government is responding to rising energy prices with a series of transfers. The general government financing deficit as a share of GDP is expected to decline to 2.5% in the current year, stagnate in 2023 and fall to 1.3% in 2024.

Schmidt, T., G. Barabas, N. Benner, B. Blagov, M. Dirks, N. Isaak, R. Jessen, F. Kirsch, P. Schacht and K. Weyerstraß (2022), Die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung zum Jahresende: Konjunktureller Dämpfer, aber keine tiefe Rezession. RWI Konjunkturberichte, 73, 4, 5-39

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