However, the subsequent summer months have seen a pronounced economic recovery in many industrialised countries, and especially in China. If this recovery is not interrupted by a further lockdown, global economic activity and world trade may reach pre-crisis levels towards the end of 2021. A vaccine and the easing of geopolitical tensions would firm up and could even improve this overall positive forecast for 2021.

In Germany, exports, capital expenditure on equipment and private consumption slumped sharply in the second quarter of 2020. These aggregates will not have returned to last year’s level by the end of 2021. On the other hand, public sector consumption and the construction industry are providing a positive impetus. In 2020 real GDP in Germany will have declined by 6 ¼ per cent against previous year, while growth of just under 4 ½ per cent is forecast for 2021. The inflation rate will fall to ½ per cent in 2020 while 2021’s consumer prices will be 1 ½ per cent higher than this year’s. The average number of people in work in Germany will fall by ¾ per cent in 2020 but will edge up slightly in 2021. Next year, an annual average of just under 45 million will be in employment, with the number of jobless a little over 2.7 million, corresponding to an unemployment rate of around 6 per cent. The public sector deficit will rise to 200 billion euros this year, around 6 per cent of GDP, with an expected deficit for 2021 of just under 4 per cent. Germany’s public debt ratio will be some 75 per cent of GDP in both years.