Das Wall Street Journal be­schreibt die euro­päische Malaise

Unter dem Titel „Europeans Are Becoming Poorer“ geht das Wall Street Journal dem dramatischen Rückstand Europas nach:

  • Europeans are facing a new economic reality, one they haven’t experienced in decades. They are becoming poorer. Life on a continent long envied by outsiders for its art de vivre is rapidly losing its shine as Europeans see their purchasing power melt away.“ – bto: Und das liegt keineswegs nur an der Inflation.
  • With consumption spending in free fall, Europe tipped into recession at the start of the year, reinforcing a sense of relative economic, political and military decline that kicked in at the start of the century.“ – bto: Das wird an den Löhnen deutlich:  

Quelle: The Wall Street Journal
  • Europe’s current predicament has been long in the making. An aging population with a preference for free time and job security over earnings ushered in years of lackluster economic and productivity growth. Then came the one-two punch of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s protracted war in Ukraine. By upending global supply chains and sending the prices of energy and food rocketing, the crises aggravated ailments that had been festering for decades.“ – bto: Es war in der Tat ein Niedergang, der schon lange andauert und politisch betrieben wurde.
  • Governments’ responses only compounded the problem. To preserve jobs, they steered their subsidies primarily to employers, leaving consumers without a cash cushion when the price shock came. Americans, by contrast, benefited from inexpensive energy and government aid directed primarily at citizens to keep them spending.“ – bto: Besonders die Energiefrage ist problematisch zu sehen.
  • In the past, the continent’s formidable export industry might have come to the rescue. But a sluggish recovery in China, a critical market for Europe, is undermining that growth pillar. High energy costs and rampant inflation at a level not seen since the 1970s are dulling manufacturers’ price advantage in international markets and smashing the continent’s once-harmonious labor relations. As global trade cools, Europe’s heavy reliance on exports—which account for about 50% of eurozone GDP versus 10% for the U.S.—is becoming a weakness.“ – bto: Das spiegelt vor allem auch die fehlende Binnennachfrage wider.
  • Private consumption has declined by about 1% in the 20-nation eurozone since the end of 2019 after adjusting for inflation, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based club of mainly wealthy countries. In the U.S., where households enjoy a strong labor market and rising incomes, it has increased by nearly 9%. The European Union now accounts for about 18% of all global consumption spending, compared with 28% for America. Fifteen years ago, the EU and the U.S. each represented about a quarter of that total.“ – bto: Degrowth in der Realität: Politisch befördert durch eine Fülle an Fehlentscheidungen, beginnend mit dem Euro.
  • Adjusted for inflation and purchasing power, wages have declined by about 3% since 2019 in Germany, by 3.5% in Italy and Spain and by 6% in Greece. Real wages in the U.S. have increased by about 6% over the same period, according to OECD data.“ – bto: Kein Wunder, dass das Wall Street Journal dann einige Beispiele für Menschen bringt, die Lebensmittel kaufen, die über dem Verfallsdatum sind etc.
  • Spending on high-end groceries has collapsed. Germans consumed 52 kilograms of meat per person in 2022, about 8% less than the previous year and the lowest level since calculations began in 1989. While some of that reflects societal concerns about healthy eating and animal welfare, experts say the trend has been accelerated by meat prices which increased by up to 30% in recent months. Germans are also swapping meats such as beef and veal for less-expensive ones such as poultry, according to the Federal Information Center for Agriculture.“ – bto: Hier freut sich das grüne Herz. Und es gibt erst einen Vorgeschmack, was da noch geplant ist.

Quelle: The Wall Street Journal

  • The eurozone economy grew about 6% over the past 15 years, measured in dollars, compared with 82% for the U.S., according to International Monetary Fund data. That has left the average EU country poorer per head than every U.S. state except Idaho and Mississippi, according to a report this month by the European Centre for International Political Economy, a Brussels-based independent think tank. If the current trend continues, by 2035 the gap between economic output per capita in the U.S. and EU will be as large as that between Japan and Ecuador today, the report said.“ – bto: Es spricht sehr viel dafür, dass es eintritt, weil wir politisch das Thema überhaupt nicht auf dem Tisch haben. Es interessiert keinen.
  • Weak growth and rising interest rates are straining Europe’s generous welfare states, which provide popular healthcare services and pensions. European governments find the old recipes for fixing the problem are either becoming unaffordable or have stopped working. Three-quarters of a trillion euros in subsidies, tax breaks and other forms of relief have gone to consumers and businesses to offset higher energy costs—something economists say is now itself fueling inflation, defeating the subsidies’ purpose.“ – bto: … weil die Nachfrage nicht deutlich genug sinkt.

Quelle: The Wall Street Journal

  • With European governments needing to increase defense spending and given rising borrowing costs, economists expect taxes to increase, adding pressure on consumers. Taxes in Europe are already high relative to those in other wealthy countries, equivalent to around 40-45% of GDP compared with 27% in the U.S. American workers take home almost three-quarters of their paychecks, including income taxes and Social Security taxes, while French and German workers keep just half.bto: Aber es genügt ja nicht! Immer weiter sollen die Steuern steigen.
  • „(this) has bolstered the ranks of labor unions, which are picking up tens of thousands of members across the continent, reversing a decadeslong decline. Higher unionization may not translate into fuller pockets for members. That’s because many are pushing workers’ preference for more free time over higher pay, even in a world of spiraling skills shortages. (…) Officials say the shorter week would improve workers’ health and quality of life while at the same time making the industry more attractive to younger workers.“ – bto: Oder ist es einfach die Folge davon, dass zu wenig vom Lohn im Portemonnaie bleibt?

wsj.com: „Europeans Are Becoming Poorer. ‘Yes, We’re All Worse Off.’“, 17. Juli 2023