The spring report from “Wirtschaftsweise” is a straight five for the federal government. The ministers have not done their homework. One of them would actually have to clear his desk for failing to provide assistance. Another is strangely spared.

Zack – that fits. The economists have published their spring report and have once again written a “five” into the federal government’s grade book. Why so bad?

The headings of the chapters already make the misery clear: “An upswing in the global economy is in sight,” it says. And 50 pages further on the keyword “Germany”: “Medium-term growth remains subdued”.

The difference between these two statements lies in the entire dilemma of German politics, which the experts dissect mercilessly: Everything is going well all around, just not in this country. Apparently those responsible are doing something wrong here.

Everyone is responsible for the economy, especially the Minister of Economic Affairs. Robert Habeck will put the report in a drawer as soon as possible. Sentences like “The stagnation in investments that has been ongoing since 2021 is reflected in relatively low trend growth” cannot please him or the traffic light coalition, which has been in office since 2021.

What is striking, however, is that economists only hint at criticism; they do not award real grades, especially not top grades. They are wise enough not to mess with the government that ultimately pays them.

And this time they are particularly sparing the Minister of Economic Affairs. A chapter on the effects of the energy transition, which would certainly have been critical, is completely missing.

Otherwise, however, it’s down to business and the analysis is not very flattering for the other responsible politicians.

Christian Lindner, for example, the Finance Minister, could get red-faced at this paragraph: “The uncertainty about the future shape of budget and economic policy is currently high.” In particular, there is uncertainty about the specific consolidation course in 2025.

The economists are counting on the course of the finance minister, who failed to draw up a constitutional budget and who is now desperately trying to implement the debt brake, but could fail because of the demands of the ministries.

The shaky state budget leads to unpredictability and therefore reluctance among those who want to spend money. Consumption and investment are lagging behind the possibilities. At the same time, economists are forecasting that the state’s tax revenue will rise significantly by 4.5 percent in real terms. Why it is still not enough is a mystery that Lindner apparently cannot solve.

“Inadequate” is the grade given by the experts when summarizing their statements.

Hubertus Heil, the Labor Minister, also gets his fat off. Because what the wise people write about the labor market is like an accusation of failure to provide assistance: “Since the Corona pandemic, the structural conditions on the German labor market have deteriorated.” Because fewer and fewer young workers are coming onto the market and average working hours are becoming shorter and shorter, things have become tight on the labor market.

Companies responded by “hoarding” workers. In the end, this will perpetuate unemployment. In particular, the issue of working hours and therefore also lifetime working hours is one in which Heil, like Chancellor Olaf Scholz, resists all attempts to extend it.

So the bottom line is a slap. What does it bring? Probably not much. Not only Habeck, but also the others have their drawers for such reports. They are well stored there and there is no fear of an extraordinary effect. The grades are also regularly simply too bad for those affected to have any interest in discussing them in detail.

The article “A straight five for the traffic lights! But Habeck is noticeably spared” comes from Business Punk.