Brussels, 29 November 2007
Following several years of low growth Germany is presently enjoying a strong recovery. With unemployment falling at record speed and fiscal consolidation progressing, the upswing is set to continue. Yet it is arguable whether the strong outlook merely signifies a cyclical recovery or whether it heralds a return to higher potential growth from the estimated level of slightly above 1% annually in the first half of this decade.
The aim of the seminar is to assess economic developments and prospects for Germany, given the contrasting experience of extended stagnation and rising unemployment, followed by brighter prospects more recently. Particular attention will be given to the remaining structural weaknesses and resulting challenges facing the German economy and policy. The first session will focus on the labour market where major reforms have led to a strong rebound in job creation, but where further steps may be necessary to lower the structural component of unemployment. As the German economy relies on its strong international ties, the second session will focus on the challenge of globalisation and the importance of international trade and FDI flows. Finally, a panel will discuss whether the German economy has finally embarked on a sustained path of stronger growth.
The provisional list of speakers includes: Bart van Ark (University of Groningen), Elga Bartsch (Morgan Stanley), Claudia M. Buch (University of Tübingen), Jørgen Elmeskov (OECD), Michael Frenkel (WHU), Alexander Groß (Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology), John Martin (OECD), Peter Nunnenkamp (IfW), Dirk Schumacher (Goldman Sachs), Ulrich Walwei (IAB), and Klaus Regling and Marco Buti from DG ECFIN.