Germany may have become too competitive for its own good.
With exports driving the fastest economic growth since reunification, consumers are failing to respond in kind as companies from Siemens AG to Daimler AG hold fast to the wage restraint that’s given them an international edge. The result: Europe’s largest economy, four times more reliant on exports than the U.S., is firing on only one cylinder.
That’s unlikely to change as Germany spearheads a push for European fiscal prudence and ignores calls from investors and the Obama administration to do more to help rebalance the global economy by reviving domestic demand. While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to cut 80 billion euros ($103 billion) of spending helps make government bonds attractive to Pacific Investment Management Co., retail stocks may suffer, and the country’s dependence on exports leaves it vulnerable to a global slowdown.
“Germany has got to work on its domestic demand,” said Andrew Bosomworth, Munich-based head of portfolio management at Pimco, which oversees the world’s largest mutual fund. “Not everybody can export. Somebody has to import.”
EUROZONE HAS BEST GROWTH FOR THREE YEARS