Op-Ed: deep uncertainty in markets around the world doesn't change two basic structural facts that will stave off recession: credit is available, and emerging countries are joining the world economy's top ranks.
BERLIN - If we take developments on the stock market as an indicator for future development of the real economy, the result might well be a panic attack. Investors' grave uncertainties would particularly affect exporting countries.
But here's another way of looking at things: investors who were careless for far too long over-reacted to Eurozone problems and the downgrading of the US credit rating. And while concern about the state of world economic affairs is certainly justified, as long as there are no liquidity shortages and blocked credits -- as there were during the bank crisis – a worldwide recession is unlikely.
At the end of the day, the decisive longer-term growth engine – emerging countries joining the top ranks of the world economy – is still intact, although there are some warning signs of over-heating. The marked sinking of oil and commodity prices as a result of the crisis will at the very least dampen that.
There is no doubt that, as one of the world's top exporters, Germany will not be able to avoid a slow-down. Suppliers depend on their customers in both good and bad times. However, in the past, the German economy has been very successful at finding new markets and minimizing dependence on any one source.
The country's vulnerability has diminished. German companies are among those profiting most from the economic growth of emerging countries. They equip the industries being created in those countries with machinery and capital goods, and meet consumer demand coming from a fast-growing middle class.
If they can hold on to this position, then at least mid-term perspectives for the German economy aren't so bad – because countries like China, Brazil and India will be using the vulnerabilities of over-indebted industrialized countries to build their positions on the world market.
Nor is it to be excluded that there is a growth in demand, in the not too distant future, even from countries like Italy, Spain or the United States that appear weak right now. Austerity measures alone aren't going to solve their problems. That would go hand in hand with a comprehensive modernization of their industry structures so that they are once again competitive.
These are opportunities that institutional and private investors – even with all the fear permeating the markets today – should not lose sight of.
Read the original article in German
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