German economy shrank 5% in pandemic year 2020

German economy shrank 5% in pandemic year 2020
Germany’s coronavirus pandemic downturn, which followed 10 straight years of annual growth, was smaller than that experienced during 2009. (AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2021

German economy shrank 5% in pandemic year 2020

German economy shrank 5% in pandemic year 2020
  • Looking ahead, the stage could be set for a substantial economic rebound

FRANKFURT: The German economy, Europe’s largest, shrank by 5 percent in the pandemic year 2020, ending a decade of growth as lockdowns wiped out much business and consumer activity. As dreary as they were, the numbers suggest consumers could be ready to unleash a strong recovery when the lid finally comes off.
The statistics office Destatis said Thursday that only the construction sector showed an upturn as industry and services saw deep declines. Agriculture, financial services, real estate and information and communication suffered smaller drops in output.
Industry fell 9.7 percent while services including cultural and sporting events, which have suffered widespread cancelations, fell 11.3 percent.
Looking ahead, the stage could be set for a substantial economic rebound since consumers might be ready to spend once the pandemic recedes, having increased their saving rate to a historic high of 16.3 percent during 2020. Albert Braakmann, head of the group for economic estimates and prices, said consumption “could increase significantly.”
In the fourth quarter, growth “roughly stagnated,” said Michael Kuhn, head of the GDP and output calculation group at the agency. He said that since very little data was available for December, when the latest round of lockdowns hit, the agency was not making an official estimate. The fourth-quarter figure is to be announced on Jan. 29.
The pandemic downturn, which followed 10 straight years of annual growth, was smaller than that experienced during 2009, when the economy shrank by 5.7 percent The 2020 figure compares to modest growth of 0.6 percent in 2019.
In 2020, the economy seesawed between lockdowns and a robust upswing that still left growth below the previous year. The worst quarter, the second, saw a quarter-on-quarter plunge of 9.8 percent followed by a rebound of 8.2 percent in the third.


FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event
Updated 19 min 30 sec ago

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event

FII confirms over 140 global speakers for 2021 event
  • The theme for 2020 will be “The Neo-Renaissance”

DUBAI: More than 140 prominent international speakers have been confirmed to speak at this year’s Future Investment Initiative (FII), which will take place on Jan. 27-28.

Some of the top names announced this week include Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman; David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Group; Credit Suisse Group CEO Thomas Gottstein; Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani; Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of Total; Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK’s minister of state for trade; Hyperloop One co-founder Josh Giegel; and David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group.

The theme for 2020 will be “The Neo-Renaissance,” and due to travel restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 60 speakers will attend in-person in Riyadh, while 80 will participate virtually from hubs in New York, Paris, Beijing and Mumbai.

Some of the other speakers will include Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and chairman of the FII Institute; Ray Dalio, co-chairman and chief information officer of Bridgewater Associates; Snam CEO Marco Alvarez; Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, the UAE’s minister of industry and advanced technology, and special envoy and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.; Eric Cantor, vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Co.; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World; and Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih,

In addition, delegates can expect to hear from Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud, Saudi ambassador to the US; Dr. Kai Fu Lee, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures; Thomas Barrack, executive chairman of Colony Capital; EDF CEO Jean Bernard Lévy; Jean Todt, president of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile; Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra; and Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital and former White House director of communications.