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Tests of German Resilience

  • Fabian Bornhorst
  • Ashoka Mody

From its early post-war catch-up phase, Germany’s formidable export engine has been its consistent driver of growth. But Germany has almost equally consistently run current account surpluses. Exports have powered the dynamic phases and helped emerge from stagnation. Volatile external demand, in turn, has elevated German GDP growth volatility by advanced countries’ standards, keeping domestic consumption growth at surprisingly low levels. As a consequence, despite the size of its economy and important labor market reforms, Germany’s ability to act as global locomotive has been limited. With increasing competition in its traditional areas of manufacturing, a more domestically-driven growth dynamic, especially in the production and delivery of services, will be good for Germany and for the global economy. Absent such an effort, German growth will remain constrained, and Germany will play only a modest role in spurring growth elsewhere.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/239.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: 02 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/239
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  1. Sebastian Weber & Anna Ivanova, 2011. "Do Fiscal Spillovers Matter?," IMF Working Papers 11/211, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2006. "The Pathological Export Boom and the Bazaar Effect - How to Solve the German Puzzle," CESifo Working Paper Series 1708, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Boeri, Tito & Brücker, Herbert, 2011. "Short-Time Work Benefits Revisited: Some Lessons from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 5635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ashoka Mody & Alina Carare, 2010. "Spillovers of Domestic Shocks; Will they Counteract the "Great Moderation"?," IMF Working Papers 10/78, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Barry Eichengreen, 2006. "Introduction to The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond
    [The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  6. Douglas H. Joines & R.Anton Braun & Daisuke Ikeda, 2008. "The saving rate in Japan: Why it has fallen and why it will remain low," CARF F-Series CARF-F-117, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  7. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  8. Ian Dew-Becker & Robert J. Gordon, 2012. "The Role of Labor-Market Changes in the Slowdown of European Productivity," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 3(2).
  9. Anna Ivanova, 2012. "Current Account Imbalances; Can Structural Policies Make a Difference?," IMF Working Papers 12/61, International Monetary Fund.
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