The deflationary settlement of intra-eurozone imbalances has not necessarily developed to Germany’s advantage. German industrial order books shrank by 12.1% for exports to the eurozone, while orders from the home market fell 3% and from the rest of the world by 0.3%. Interestingly, the worst sub-sector was semi-manufactured goods and chemicals, i.e. inputs into industrial supply chains. This, to me, suggests that the crisis is affecting places like northern Italy – not just selling fewer BMWs to the periphery, but also selling fewer fancy chemicals to go into the plant in La Spezia that made the propellers for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
Meanwhile, does it worry anyone else that no media outlet has managed to report Angela Merkel’s actual words leaving the G20? Reuters started it, but didn’t provide an actual quote, and anyway it’s usually good practice to distrust any English-speaking journalist’s German. At the same time, the Guardian‘s live blog gave up and started reporting what people were posting on Twitter. Not just that – I’ve also seen journalists referring to “Berlusconi’s economic stimulus plan”. If only!
It’s been a bizarre week, but if the papers can’t do mindless stenography of the words of the powerful, what are they for?