Germany is the most resilient and dynamic economy in a struggling region. Matthew Partridge reviews its strengths, explains how it is rectifying its weaknesses and highlights the best ways to invest.
The 2010s was a dismal decade for Europe. It began with the euro crisis between 2010 and 2015, when sharp recessions and mass unemployment devastated southern Europe; the Covid-19 pandemic has snuffed out the tentative recovery. However, while Italy and Spain languish and France stagnates, Germany, the continent’s powerhouse (it accounts for around 30% of eurozone GDP) proved resilient. Global momentum boosted its export-led economy, helping to ensure that GDP expanded by an average of almost 2% a year between 2009 and 2019, according to the World Bank, compared with an annual 1.5% for the rest of the EU. And Germany looks poised to outperform its neighbours in the next decade too, not least because it is moving beyond its traditional strengths of manufacturing and engineering into new industries.