In many ways it is the best of times.
The German economy held up well in 2015. The number of people in employment grew steadily, up to 43.4 million as of October — nearly 3 million more than the fall of 2007, a year before the financial crisis.
The state is also shouldering the high cost of caring for a million immigrants, without incurring new debt. The “Mittelstand” — the many family-run, private businesses that are the backbone of Germany’s economy — are admired worldwide.
But this is not the time for complacency, and it is important we ask ourselves: Just how sustainable is Germany’s enviable economic position?
Tomorrow’s prosperity will depend on whether companies remain competitive, and create new markets developed through innovation. And one important driver to all this is starting new companies.
But the number of companies being founded in Germany is steadily sinking. Since the year 2000, it has fallen some 30 percent.