Published on Spiegel Online International, by kla, January 11, 2012.
The German economy grew strongly last year, despite the European debt crisis. Gross domestic product jumped by 3 percent, while the national deficit sank, the Federal Statistical Office reported on Wednesday. But experts warn that, given the slight contraction in the final quarter of last year, Germany could enter a recession in 2012 … //
… But thanks to the healthy economy, Germany’s public debt grew significantly more slowly in 2011 than it has in the past, with the deficit amounting to some 1 percent of GDP, Destatis reported. This means that for the first time in three years, Berlin managed to stay below the upper deficit limit of 3 percent set by the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact.
Wholesale Industry Expects More Growth:
Even if the outlook is somewhat gloomy, German wholesalers still expect to see an increase in sales in 2012. After a record increase of 7.5 percent to reach almost €860 billion ($1.1 trillion) last year, sales for 2012 are also expected to grow by some 3.5 percent to reach €890 billion.
While there are threats to the world economy and financial markets, there can be “no talk of a recession,” said Anton Börner, president of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA). The mood among businesses is “clearly positive,” he added. According to BGA numbers, the number of employees in the wholesale business grew by some 20,000 in 2011 to reach 1.15 million. In 2012 they expect to employ another 5,000 workers. (full text).
Behörden prüfen 63.000 Privatkonten, auf Spiegel.de, 12. Januar 2012:
Der Staat hat 2011 so viele Konten kontrolliert wie noch nie. Laut einem Zeitungsbericht überprüften Sozial- und Finanzämter in insgesamt 63.000 Fällen die Bankdaten von Privatpersonen. Datenschützer fordern ein Eingreifen des Gesetzgebers …
Why Nobody’s Likely To Put Your Cable Company Out Of Business Soon, on MoneyBox, by Matthew Yglesias, January 11, 2012;
Reinventing the Middle East lexicon, on Eric Walberg.com, by blog owner, January 11, 2012;
2011: The year that shook the world, on Eric Walberg.com, by blog owndeer, December 28, 2011.