Financial and Monetary Systems

German economy likely in recession, and other economy stories to read this week

Published · Updated
Frankfurt, Germany.

The German economy is likely in recession. Image: Unsplash/

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
  • This weekly round-up brings you the latest stories from the world of economics and finance.
  • Top economy stories: German economy likely in recession; African economic growth falls; Japan's Nikkei hits record highs.

1. German economy likely in recession

The German economy is likely in recession, according to the latest monthly report from the country's central bank.

The Bundesbank warned that weak external demand, consumer caution and high interest rates holding back domestic investment all pointed to an economy that was likely already in recession.

"There is still no recovery for the German economy," the Bundesbank said. "Output could decline again slightly in the first quarter of 2024. With the second consecutive decline in economic output, the German economy would be in a technical recession."

Despite a weak outlook, the bank has said it does not expect an extended recession.


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2. African economic growth falls in 2023

The African Development Bank has said that economic growth in the continent fell from 4.1% in 2022 to 3.2% last year.

The bank has projected higher growth this year in all regions, apart from Central Africa. "The shocks buffeting African economies since 2020 have damaged growth, with long-term implications," it said in a report, with economics hit by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, as well as political instability.

The 2023 figure represents a drop on the bank's November forecast for the year, which stood at 3.4%. Despite headwinds, 15 countries in the region posted more than 5% growth last year, including Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda.

Africa’s Macro-Economic Performance and Outlook.
GDP growth in Africa to 2025. Image: African Development Bank

3. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world

Global debt reached a record high of $313 trillion in 2023, according to the Institute of International Finance.

The World Bank has warned that high debt levels coupled with high interest rates require much quicker economic growth to repay the debt.

France has lowered its 2024 growth forecast from 1.4% to 1%. It comes as the war in Ukraine and Gaza and a slowdown in top trading partners hit the economic outlook.

Property prices in the UK have shown an annual rise for the first time in six months, according to property website Rightmove. Asking prices rose 0.1% in February compared to a year earlier.

The Japanese government has cut its predictions for consumer spending and its outlook for the country's economy, suggesting a tough path out of the recession, Reuters reports. It comes as the country's share index – the Nikkei – hit a record high on 22 February.

Chip-related stocks have surged after US chipmaker Nvidia's outlook beat expectations.

The Nigerian economy grew 3.46% in Q4 – a similar pace to the same quarter in 2022 – amid increased oil output and signs that government efforts to boost growth are taking effect.

South Korea's central bank has kept interest rates steady at 3.5%. "Most board members still see it as premature to discuss any interest rate cuts as inflation is above our target level and we need to check its slowdown path," Governor Rhee Chang-yong said.

Headline inflation in Sweden hit 3.3% in January, and 4.4% without volatile energy prices, Bloomberg reports.

China's central bank has cut its key mortgage reference rate by 25 basis points to 3.95%.


4. More on finance and the economy from our blog

Two G7 economies slipped into recession at the end of 2023 – but what exactly is a recession? Our latest explainer explores the key signs of a recession and what it means for consumers.

Green investments decreased to $1.3 trillion in 2023. Here, Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States and chairman of Generation Investment Management, discusses three key ways to boost green investment.

In recent months, attacks on ships in the Red Sea have caused major disruptions. Here, four trade experts explain how this is impacting the shipping industry and the global economy.

Related topics:
Financial and Monetary SystemsGeo-economicsEconomic Progress
1. German economy likely in recession2. African economic growth falls in 20233. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world4. More on finance and the economy from our blog

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