Not So Fast!

It is surely welcome news to find the German citizenry content with Angela Merkel, and that this new found contentment is feeding into more positive views about immediate economic prospects. But oughtn’t we to remember that there is a thing called the first hundred days, and a phenomenon known as the ‘honeymoon period’.

There is also – thank you Nietzsche – something called the ‘will to believe’.

I therefore think, along the lines of ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’ that it is a bit too early to be saying that the latest bounce in consumer confidence:

“is the latest indication that a broad-based recovery in Europe’s largest economy could finally be around the corner”.

I think we should wait for a broad-based and sustained recovery in confidence first. What we have is another indication that people are feeling rather better, and that is always good news. But lets just see how they feel when the first ‘reform’ package is unveiled, shall we.

The good news, however, was eclipsed by warnings from economists and politicians that Germany’s new government should not let rising opinion polls and improving economic prospects get in the way of much needed labour market and social security reforms.

“There is a lot more to be done,” Horst Köhler, Germany’s president, told the Stern weekly in an interview published on Wednesday. “I remain convinced the republic is facing a formidable task that will require decisive action and an enormous amount of staying power.”

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".