The German economy is moving sideways. After the slight decline in economic output in the third quarter, real gross domestic product in the final quarter of 2018, increased only slightly by 0.02% in seasonally adjusted terms compared with the previous quarter.
Industrial production rose only slightly in December with a plus of 0.2% compared to the previous month. On average in the fourth quarter, production thus fell sharply by 1.6% compared with the third quarter.
Preliminary GDP data confirmed that the Eurozone economy ended 2018 on a weak note. While fundamentals remain positive: the labor market continues to expand and financial and monetary conditions remain accomodative, elevated uncertainty is likely to weigh on economic activity in 2019. We expect GDP growth to slowdown to +1.6% in 2019 from +1.8% in 2018. Risks to our forecast remain on the downside.