Dr. Lorenz Weimann
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Of course, it is interesting to see what actually contributed to the more restrained business expectations. Inflation and interest rate fears, which have caused unrest on the financial markets in recent weeks, probably also weigh on the mood in the real economy. The financing conditions for companies might no longer be as favourable as they have been so far given the withdrawal of central banks from their ultra-loose monetary policy. However, more important for the decline in business expectations may have been that the higher euro will dampen export expectations. In addition, concerns about increased US protectionist measures and a potential trade war are likely to have grown. In our view, the latter is of considerable relevance for the economic outlook. The current strong expansion of world trade could suffer a significant setback in an environment of protectionist tendencies.
Dr. Rolf Schneider
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