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Fight Corona: Concerns about the economy | Free Press

Berlin / Frankfurt (dpa) – According to economists, the second crown wave and tighter restrictions are putting the rebound in Germany at risk.

“The economy cannot be turned on and off like a lamp without causing damage,” Commerzbank chief economist Jörg Krämer said on Wednesday. Tighter measures to contain the corona pandemic could slow economic growth again, Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a government poll in the Bundestag. The CDU politician assured support for companies in the event of new and massive restrictions.

The federal government wants to stop the strong spread of the corona virus in Germany by shutting down much of public life. In view of the significantly higher number of corona infections, catering establishments will close for the rest of the month from 2 November, as the German Press Agency learned from consultations between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and ministers. of State. The Funke media group had already reported on it.

The federal and state governments want to heavily ban events offering entertainment and recreation across Germany from next week until the end of November. This applies to theaters, operas or concert halls, trade shows, cinemas, amusement parks, and game rooms.

According to economist Krämer, economic growth is likely to stop in the fourth quarter. At best, a black zero can be expected compared to the previous quarter. Industry and commerce are not directly affected, but are likely to suffer as general uncertainty is increasing and anti-crown measures abroad are also tightening.

“The rebound is very likely to slow down significantly,” said the economic director of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Claus Michelsen. The pandemic is making consumers and businesses less confident. Many companies were still struggling with the fallout from the spring shutdown and had little financial reserves.

According to the DIW, the German economy still grew strongly by around six percent in the third quarter. The Federal Statistical Office will release the first data on Friday. On this day, the Minister of Economy Altmaier also wants to present the autumn forecast. So far it has been said that the growth forecast for the current year should be slightly increased.

German companies themselves hope that the corona pandemic will be an increasingly difficult return to normal economic life. A survey by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) of around 30,000 companies shows that the situation has improved for many. “However, assessments are a long way from the pre-crisis level at the beginning of the year,” according to the survey analysis. In addition, it still does not take into account the drastic contact restrictions that the federal government and the federal states decided on Wednesday in the fight against the spread of the corona virus.

The spring lockdown caused a massive economic depression in Germany, and in the summer things generally picked up again. For the year as a whole, economic output is forecast to decline significantly.

The German Tourism Association (DTV) called for better government support from November. “If the situation now worsens to the same extent as before and the industry is almost sent back into lockdown, the improved bridging aid should come into effect immediately from November,” said the association’s manager, Norbert Kunz. “Even companies that hoped to overcome the crisis with higher reserves are now reaching their limits.”

The Federal Association for Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) criticized the closures in the restaurant sector as “completely inappropriate.” For many midsize companies that could spell the death blow in the current situation, said BGA President Anton Börner.

The German Trade Association (HDE) warned that the new restrictions could also affect stores. Wholesalers and retailers must stay open, but there are regulations governing how many customers can be in the store at the same time. “If stores are the only ones open, all other industries have to close everywhere and people stay home on a de facto curfew, then distributors are in a very difficult position,” said the director. HDE General Stefan Genth.

At a large rally in Berlin, thousands of people from the events industry rallied again in favor of more comprehensive state aid in the Corona crisis. The protest march was organized by the #AlarmstufeRot alliance. The Dehoga Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry and other industry representatives also called for participation.

According to Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), the federal government is planning more aid, for example for the events industry and the construction of trade shows, in view of strict restrictions from the crown.