Originally Posted by scollins
You think Germany has a strong economy?!?
"Bundesbank: German economy will stagnate through 2010
Europe's largest economy is expected to shrink by 6.2 percent in 2009 according to the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank.
German economy suffered worst postwar slump in 2009
• Official data shows contraction of 5%, worst since 1932
• Germany's economy 'stagnated' in final quarter
The German parliament has approved the budget for 2010, which will see new borrowing hit a record high. The global economic downturn is being blamed for the huge amount of new debt.
Those are not factors that I'd consider a "strong economy."
For the past two years my mom has had her hours cut at her company (engineering and manufacturing.) She's been there for over 20 years. Right now she has to take 4 furlough days per month. She doesn't expect that to improve in 2010. Fortunately (or not?) for her, she will retire shortly at age 65 (formerly the mandated retirement age, now 67 I believe.) She says she is not really in a position to afford retirement just yet, even with the government pension plans, but she really doesn't have much choice. And she by no means "lives large", not even close.
We are recovering from a worldwide economic crisis. You can get similar headlines for every country, and we both know that the situation in the United States is very ugly.
Germany entered the current crisis from a position of strength, and they remain the foundation of the Euro. Their GDP per capita is $44,729 (virtually the same as the United States). Their unemployment rate is 7.5%, considerably below ours. They are the world's second largest exporter, in spite of having labor costs greater than the United States.
Germany is running a deficit of 3.3% of GDP. Ours is pushing 10%, which puts us in the class with Greece.
China can not threaten them by making noise about dumping their bonds.
And they do not bankrupt young families with sick children.