The criticism came after an influential business climate index showed confidence in German business expectations fell sharply in August. Munich’s Ifo Institute’s business climate index fell to 99.4 in August, from 100.8 the month before. It was the second month in a row that the rating had gone down after a series of steady improvements since the start of 2021.
Senior AfD politician Gunnar Beck, a German MEP, told Express.co.uk: âGermany’s long-standing lockdown has hurt people and businesses. By following the imperfect model of the EU, Angela Merkel has disrupted supply chains and severely damaged the economy.
âIn the three major crises the EU has faced – be it Covid, the euro or immigration, the EU has failed every time.
âIt seems that the EU has no more problems. This is the problem.
The Ifo Institute index was notably weighed down by business expectations for the next six months.
Many companies have expressed fears about supply chain disruptions and the potential resurgence of COVID-190 infections in the eurozone’s largest economy.
Clemens Fuest, President of the Ifo Institute, said: “Bottlenecks in the supply of intermediates in manufacturing and concerns about rising infections are straining the economy.”
He added that due to the threat of future lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus infections “concerns are growing in the hospitality and tourism sectors.”
Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING, said the data, when analyzed in accordance with Germany’s softened Zew sentiment index and similar surveys, suggests a “loss of momentum for the industry. ‘Germany in the second half of the year “.
He added: âIf the hard data follows the capping of soft indicators, the economy’s return to pre-crisis levels will be delayed. “
Andrew Kenningham, chief economist for Europe at Capital Economics, was less pessimistic.
He said the data suggested the German economy “is still dynamic” and forecast “very strong” growth in gross domestic product in the third quarter of this year, around 3% from the previous three months.
The German economy grew 1.6% in the second quarter.
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This is the fastest pace since WWII and should only be matched by the United States.
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said: âThere was a period when restrictions were in place, they were slowly being relaxed, but there was greater adaptability to those restrictions and we saw economic activity. come back a little stronger than expected.
“And the British vaccines are going very strong so that helps the recovery, that will be a big plus point.”
The UK’s growth is expected to outpace that of the EU’s eurozone, which is expected to grow 4.6% this year, according to the IMF.