German Economic Report
Germany ended 2014 on a very strong note. Private consumption was the main anchor of growth in 2014, helped by the significant decline in the global oil price. Data for Q1 are somewhat mixed, but suggest overall that Germany remains on a solid growth track. Industrial production growth moderated and exports shrank in January, but business sentiment and the composite PMI improved again in March and the consumer confidence indicator reached an over-thirteen-year high in April. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble presented amendments to this year’s budget, the draft 2016 budget and fiscal plans up to 2019 on 18 March. The key policy measure is an increase in public investment—mainly in infrastructure—which amounts to EUR 13.5 billion until 2018, although the government remains committed to its goal of achieving a balanced budget through 2019.