The Economy That Fell To Earth

Germany's slowdown is scaring its neighbors

Germany is supposed to be Europe's locomotive. But thanks in part to recent French strikes delaying shipments of German goods, gross domestic product probably will show no growth in the fourth quarter, the second stagnant quarter in a row. Unemployment, rising since last spring, is at 9.3%. Industrial output is 4% below last year's level. And new orders in the engineering industry are plunging. Says Ian Harwood, head of strategy at London's Kleinwort Benson Group PLC: "Fears of a hard landing are growing."

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