Germans still confident despite crisis – chem employers group

07 October 2009 19:29  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germans are still rather relaxed and confident, with little sign of the proverbial “German Angst” that rattled them in past economic crises, the country’s chemical employers association said in an update on Wednesday.

Consumers continued to spend and their level of anxiety had not worsened from previous years, despite the worst economic and financial crisis in 80 years, Wiesbaden-based BAVC said.

While many were worried about employment in general, only a few feared for their own jobs, the group said, citing the latest surveys by economic institutes and market research firms.

And despite the crisis, the recent federal election - which saw Chancellor Angela Merkel forming a coalition government with a new partner - had been more like a relaxed friendly soccer match, instead of a tough final match.

Germans’ relaxed attitude and their confidence in companies’ competitiveness was a positive, as long as it did not border on arrogance, BAVC said.

At the same time, such confidence was very much needed as the effects of the crisis would continue to last for quite some time, the group said, and pointed to soaring government debt and the country’s increasingly strained social security system.

Industry capacity utilisation was still low, and there remained the threat of rising unemployment in months ahead, the group said.

“Even though the economy's downward spiral appears to have ended, it will be a long and steep path until the heights of previous years are regained,” it said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Germany’s economic ministry reported industrial orders up 1.4% in August from July, the sixth sequential increase in a row. However, orders were still down by over 20% from a year ago.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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