The New StatesmanThe New Statesman

Despite Brexit, Britain is not the sick man of Europe – that accolade goes to Germany

By Wolfgang Münchau

07 Jun 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Germany, currently facing an economic downturn, is being described as the "sick man of Europe," a title it shares periodically with the UK and, at times, France.

Remember the “sick man of Europe” competition? Over the decades, the award has passed back and forth between the UK and Germany, though France, at times, has deserved an honourable mention.

Brexit notwithstanding, that trophy sits in Berlin right now. Germany has fallen into what economists call a technical recession after two consecutive quarters of falling economic growth. This is not the real definition of a recession. The US National Bureau of Economic Research defines it as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months”.

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