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Joint Economic Forecast: Crisis is gradually being overcome – align actions to lower growth

Press Release of October 14, 2021

The Corona pandemic still shapes the economic situation in Germany. A complete normalisation of contact-intensive activities is not to be ex­pected in the short term. In addition, supply bottlenecks are ham­pering manufacturing for the time being. The German economy will reach nor­mal capacity utilisation in the course of 2022. In their autumn report, the leading economic research institutes forecast that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise by 2.4% in 2021 and by 4.8% in 2022.

Joint Economic Forecast

The Joint Economic Forecast was prepared by the German Institute for Eco­nomic Research (DIW Berlin), the ifo Institute (Munich), the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), and RWI (Essen).

After new waves of infections had delayed the recovery during 2020/2021, Gross Domestic Product rose significantly since the infections subsided in spring. However, supply bottlenecks for intermediate products are hampering production in the manufacturing sector. As a result, only the consumer-related service industries are growing. The recovery will still be slowed down in winter 2021/2022, since activity in the service sector will remain below the usual level during the cold season, even with low levels of infection. In addition, supply bottlenecks will continue to weigh on manufacturing production for the time being. For the coming year, the institutes assume that the adverse effects of the pandemic and of supply bottlenecks will gradually be overcome. Accord­ingly, normal capacity utilisation will be regained. “Overall, GDP is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2021 and by 4.8% in 2022,” says Oliver Holtemöller, vice president at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). The institutes expect consumer prices to rise by 3% in the current year and by 2.5% in 2022. The public budget deficit is likely to decline from 4.9% in relation to GDP in the current year to 2.1% in the following year. Given the strong increase in nominal GDP, the government debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to decline from 71% in 2021 to 67% in 2022. The economic consequences of the Corona crisis will be gradually overcome with the return to normal capacity utilisation. “However, the challenges of climate change and the foreseeable lower economic growth due to a shrinking labour force will reduce consumption opportunities,” says Holtemöller.

Topics: Business cycles

Martin Gornig

Research Director in the Firms and Markets Department