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Passers-by in downtown Hamburg

Photo: Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa

The vast majority of Germans expect the economic situation to worsen.

In the ZDF political barometer, 69 percent of those surveyed said this was an expectation, the broadcaster said.

28 percent do not expect a major change, only two percent expect a positive development.

Only ten percent describe the current economic situation as good.

That's fewer than there have been in 14 years.

However, most respondents continue to describe their personal economic situation as good.

53 percent say this, 36 percent think it is mixed and ten percent think it is bad.

After a decline in economic output in 2023, the federal government only expects mini-growth of 0.2 percent this year.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck recently called it “dramatically bad.”

"We are emerging from the crisis more slowly than hoped."

“The years in which German industry was a job and growth engine for the German economy are over for the time being,” expects Sebastian Dullien, scientific director of the Institute for Macroeconomics and Economic Research at the Hans Böckler Foundation.

In particular, the energy price shock following Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and the associated uncertainty in energy prices continued to have an impact.

Nevertheless, the labor market in Europe's largest economy has so far been robust, also due to the shortage of skilled workers.

Many companies are still desperately looking for staff.

The Bundesbank currently sees no signs “that the situation on the labor market will noticeably worsen as a result of the weak economy.”

Despite slashed economic forecasts that see Germany as the bottom performer in the euro area this year, the German stock market index Dax is rushing from record to record.

However, the leading index only reflects a part of the German economy, which is primarily characterized by medium-sized companies.

The 40 largest listed companies are represented in the Dax.

It is not the domestic business that makes companies more and more valuable on the stock exchange.

They generated most of their sales and profits abroad, explains analyst Konstantin Oldenburger from broker CMC Markets.