When the statisticians published their first estimate of German economic growth at the end of April, relief spread. Gross domestic product had not shrunk again and the recession had thus been cancelled.

This all-clear was premature. Since then, it has been raining bad figures from the industry: production and exports have declined, the statisticians have now reported for the month of March. Orders even slumped by more than 10 percent, the last time this happened was at the beginning of the pandemic.

Things are not running smoothly, especially in the automotive industry. It could therefore well be that the statisticians will have to revise their estimate and the recession will then be official.

The complaints about the state of Germany as a business location are likely to become even louder – and lethargy is likely to spread. At the moment, there is a lack of imagination as to what can give the German economy new impetus. Unfortunately, the problems of industry are no longer just cyclical, they are structural.