Economic Forecasts

Hitting the Mark

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the best economist of all? Source: Vario Images
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the best economist of all?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The Berliner Sparkasse savings bank and the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, made the best forecasts for Europe’s largest economy.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The German economy grew by 1.5 percent last year.
    • Few experts expected the low rate of inflation.
    • They are divided on the prospects for 2015.
  • Audio

    Audio

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It was a year of ups and downs for the German economy.

After a robust start, it looked like growth would crack the magic 2 percent level in 2014, but by the summer that confidence had vanished. The crisis in Ukraine and ongoing difficulties in the euro zone had dampened the mood.

It wasn’t until late in the year that the economic prospects started to look better again. In the end, the German economy grew by an inflation-adjusted 1.5 percent compared to the year before.

For the first time in three years, that is somewhat stronger than the long-term trend. The figures were reported by the German Federal Statistical Office on Thursday, confirming earlier information received by Handelsblatt.

Germany’s economy is in “solid shape,” said Roderich Egeler, president of the Federal Statistical Office.

The economy got a boost from the domestic market and foreign trade. Private consumption did not grow at breathtaking speed, but still rose by 1.1 percent, and exports were up by almost 4 percent.

More is now being invested in Germany again. The gross fixed-capital formation rose by 3.1 percent last year, after two years of it declining.

Still, most economic experts had expected even stronger growth for the German economy. Four of five economists had predicted a higher rate of growth, as was evident in this year’s Handelsblatt forecast rankings.

Our editors evaluated the growth predictions of 26 economic forecasters made before the end of 2013 for the following year.

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