Recession or not, the German economy has fallen into a de facto stagnation, with quarterly GDP growth averaging a meagre 0.1% QoQ since the third quarter of last year.
In fact, the German economy can still be divided into two worlds: the depressive world and the happy-go-lucky one. In the depressive world, there are very few signs of an imminent bottoming or recovery of the manufacturing sector since the summer of 2018. The sector is facing and will continue to face cyclical challenges, as ongoing trade conflicts, Brexit uncertainty and slower Chinese growth, along with structural challenges, disrupt the automotive industry. In the happy-go-lucky world, private consumption remains solid on the back of low inflation, low interest rates and a still-strong labour market. The construction sector keeps on booming and the government is also inserting some fiscal stimulus.