President of the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) said the international trade conflicts and the chaos surrounding Brexit have left German export companies facing a bleak outlook.
The President, Holger Bingmann on Tuesday said “we probably will have to write off 2019 and settle for zero growth in exports.
“At most, an increase of just 0.5 per cent can be expected.’’
He did not make a prediction for 2020, saying that an improvement is unlikely before the second half of that year.
Bingmann spoke of resolute, constant foul play by the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump is affecting the German economy.
“The squabbling over Brexit is making it impossible for companies to do longer-term planning.’’
Bingmann said small and medium-sized companies could particularly profit from the deal, which has been criticised by environmentalists.
“The few opportunities that we currently have should not be recklessly gambled away,” he warned.
The export-oriented German economy had boomed for nine years before its current lull, achieving export records for five years.
Exporters are now concerned about business with both the U.S. and China.
German exports to both countries rose by 4.3 per cent in the first half of this year, but that is far off from the double-digit growth that had at times been recorded in the past.
Companies are thus counting in particular on a controversial free trade agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur bloc of Latin American countries, which would create the world’s largest free trade zone.