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中法俄经济困境波及德国

Geoffrey Smith 2014年07月09日

中国经济放缓,乌克兰危机对俄罗斯的影响余波荡漾,法国则存在长期问题,德国经济因为这三大贸易伙伴集体遭遇困境而受到了拖累,表现疲软。

    欧洲最大经济体德国目前步履蹒跚,原因是它的三大出口市场也开始像德国一样有了麻烦。

    德国经济部周一表示,剔除季节性因素的影响并按日历天数进行调整后,德国5月份工业产值连续第三个月出现滑坡。而且在短期内,这项数据看来将保持低迷状态。原因是,上周五公布的数据显示,5月份德国制造商获得的新订单减少了1.7%。

    这项数据印证了近几周市场情绪指数所反映的情况:虽然研究机构Ifo等方面公布的信心指数仍然高于长期平均值,但6月份的预期指数已经下跌到六个月以来的最低水平。

    今年前两个月,德国工业产值比往年第一季度平均下跌了1.5%;但德国经济部表示,市场情绪指数表明,工业生产将在下半年再次变得活跃起来。

    这一点在很大程度上将取决于德国以外的因素,原因是一直以来德国都非常依赖出口。

    今年初以来,德国三大出口市场的表现都不尽如人意:法国是德国最大的贸易伙伴,但它的经济根本没有增长;乌克兰危机让德国的后院,也就是中欧和东欧的商业信心和投资受到了打击,进而造成俄罗斯经济增长基本停滞【德国工商大会(DIHK)预计,今年德国对俄罗斯和乌克兰的出口将减少约50亿欧元,降幅为10%】。

    就连中国经济也已经明显放缓,原因是中国政府正在设法控制过度投资问题。

    欧元区外围国家的经济形势却发生了令人瞩目的反转。现在,让欧元区经济数据依然亮丽的正是这些国家——5月份,来自欧元区的订单增长了5.7%(没有受到法国经济低迷的影响),而来自欧元区以外的订单则下降了5.2%

    有理由认为,经济减速阶段可能已经结束,至少在法国以外是这样。乌克兰政府军周末收复了东部两座重要的城市,表明乌克兰的冲突或许能在对俄制裁不再继续升级的情况下结束——对俄罗斯的制裁会给德国的出口带来沉重的打击(还有可能引起俄罗斯的报复,从而削减输送给德国的石油和天然气)。

    同时,赴中国访问的德国总理安格拉•默克尔周一和中国总理李克强会面时应该可以从后者那里得到一些慰藉。据路透社报道,李克强在发表讲话时重申,中国政府仍然认为自己有能力让今年的经济增长率保持在不低于7.5%的水平。

    为了配合默克尔的访问,德国汽车巨擘大众(Volkswagen)表示将在中国华东地区投资约27亿美元,用于跟中方合资伙伴一汽集团共同新建两座工厂;中方也同意斥资约3亿欧元购买100架空中客车(Airbus)生产的直升机。(财富中文网)

    译者:Charlie

    Europe’s largest economy is stuttering as problems with three of its most important export markets catch up with it.

    Germany’s Economy Ministry said Monday that industrial output fell for the third month in a row in May, adjusted for seasonal and calendar factors. It also looks set to stay weak for the near future, as data released on Friday showed that new orders to manufacturers slid by 1.7% in May.

    The figures corroborate what sentiment indicators have been saying in recent weeks: although confidence indices such as that of research institute Ifo are still above their long-term averages, expectations hit their lowest level in six months in June.

    Output in the first two months of the spring quarter was down an average of 1.5% from first-quarter levels, although the Ministry said indicators of sentiment suggest activity will pick up again in the second half of the year.

    That will depend to a large degree on factors outside Germany, due to the country’s traditionally heavy reliance on its export sector.

    So far this year, three key export markets have been misfiring: France, Germany’s largest trading partner, isn’t growing at all, and growth in Russia has slowed to a near-standstill as the Ukraine crisis has hit business confidence and investment all across Germany’s backyard in central and eastern Europe. (The German Chamber of Trade and Industry, or DIHK, expects exports to Russia and Ukraine to fall by around €5 billion, or 10% this year.)

    Even in China, the economy has slowed markedly as the authorities try to get to grips with the problems of an investment boom that has gone too far.

    In an eye-catching turnaround, it’s now the recovering eurozone periphery that’s helping to keep the numbers decent: orders from the eurozone rose 5.7% in May (despite French weakness), while those from outside the eurozone fell by 5.2%.

    There are reasons to think that the slowdown may have run its course, at least outside France. The capture of two key cities in eastern Ukraine at the weekend suggests that the conflict there may be ended without any further escalation in sanctions on Russia that would hit German exporters hard (and risk retaliation in the form of reduced oil and gas shipments to Germany).

    Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel was able to get some reassurances from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in person Monday, during a visit to China. In a speech, Li repeated that the Chinese government still expects to be able to keep growth at no less than 7.5% this year, according to Reuters.

    To mark Merkel’s visit, auto giant Volkswagen AG VLKAY -2.35% said it will invest around $2.7 billion in building two new plants in eastern China together with its local joint venture partner FAW worth $2.7 billion, while China also agreed to buy 100 Airbus EADSY 0.83% helicopters for some €300 million.

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