An exhibition on German saving, the virtue turned problem

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THE German problem: Why its surplus is damaging the world economy” read our cover in July 2017. We criticised Germany’s record trade surplus, of €249 billion ($264 billion) in 2016, the world’s largest. Disapproval of savings-mad, export-happy Germany has also come from America, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and even from within Germany, notably from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). They have all demanded an end of Germany’s strict austerity policy. With little success: after a trade surplus of €245 billion in 2017 and a federal budget surplus of €36.6 billion, the biggest since German reunification, there is still little appetite for more spending, whether in business or in government. 

The financial assets of German citizens—a whopping €5.6trn in 2016, according to the Federal Association of German Banks—reveal a deep-rooted…Continue reading

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