Peter Altmaier is preparing for his new life, and the current Minister of the Economy is already facing the current perils of the economy. For example, recently he was thinking about buying a car. He hasn’t had to deal with the subject for 27 years, after all as a parliamentarian, secretary of state or minister you always have someone to lead you. Altmaier’s early explorations led him to the harsh reality: “I realized that it’s very, very difficult to get a delivery date right now,” says Altmaier. “Because automakers don’t know when and how many chips will be available next year.” And this uncertainty affects not only the future private man Peter Altmaier, but the entire German economy.
On Wednesday, the CDU politician, who surprisingly relinquished his parliamentary mandate earlier this month, presented an autumn projection for the last presumably. The numbers are below what the ministry predicted in the spring – also due to missing components such as microchips. “We find that delivery bottlenecks and high energy prices are holding back economic development,” Altmaier said. The economy will grow 2.6% this year, this forecast is “relatively reliable”. However, it is lower than the 3.5% the federal government took in the spring. A year earlier, at the start of the pandemic, the forecast for 2021 was even stormy 5.2%. But who could have guessed what was to come?
This time, too, the big recovery should only be delayed slightly. “We assume that the growth will not cease to exist, but will simply shift next year,” Altmaier said. Consolidation in energy prices can be expected and bottlenecks in deliveries should also ease. Towards the end of the first quarter of 2022, the economy will be back to where it was before the Corona crisis began – rather than at the end of the year. Growth of 4.1% is possible next year, half a point higher than expected in the spring. After that, in 2023, growth will stabilize again at 1.6%. As before: In 2018, in his first fall projection as Minister of the Economy, Altmaier predicted stable growth of 1.8%. At that time, it was the tenth year of the boom. And the penultimate.
As always, Altmaier restores confidence. The inflation rate, at a fabulous 4.1% in September, will stabilize again at a lower level at the end of the year – because then the effect of the temporary reduction of the value added tax previous year will no longer apply either. Consumers do not have to worry about the security of gas supply either: “The gas storage tanks are properly filled. The trades are still doing well, and the situation is easing for many providers. There is only in the industry with its supply bottlenecks that cannot be glossed over at the moment. “The stammered economic engine must be a wake-up call for coalition negotiations,” warns Joachim Lang, CEO of BDI. Reforms are needed.
Altmaier himself now has other concerns, but he doesn’t reveal exactly which ones. What kind of car he has in mind and what kind of driving – he won’t say it until he is no longer a minister.