Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This could be a bad omen...

Perennially dour German farmers are bursting with enthusiasm and optimism.
“The trend all over Europe shows returning confidence. Whilst this is also true in the UK, the recovery is not as marked as in Poland and France or as in Germany which comes out on top. From a low point in late 2005 and early 2006, German and Polish farmers have become much more confident. German farmers expect significantly higher prices for key products. Polish farmers have the confidence which springs from relatively recent entry into the EU”, says Dr. Jochen Köckler, Managing Director of the DLG Exhibitions Department.

A staggering 88 % of German farmers view the economic future for the industry from “very good” to “normal” compared with 81% in Poland, 58% in France and 54% in the UK. When farmers were asked how they see the state of their own business at present, just 16% of UK farmers judged current performance to be “good” or “very good”. This compares with 27% in France, 37% in Poland and 38% in Germany. [More]
So what's up with our Teutonic colleagues? Several things I would guess.
The outlook for economic growth in Europe is running at
its highest level for years, according to a Commission
survey, which shows a strong improvement in economic
confidence in the biggest EU economies, particularly
in Britain, followed by France and Germany.

Better-than-expected consumer confidence is the main
driving force behind the improved outlook, reports the
Economic Sentiment Indicator, which also shows
improvements in services confidence in the EU and
retail trade confidence in the eurozone.

This optimism comes at a time of firm oil prices and a
strong euro, with every prospect of higher interest rates.
Analysts now believe that there is increasing hope that
Europe will be able to sustain its recent economic revival.
  • The Australian drought has decreased competition for lamb, wheat and dairy.
  • The massive effort to reunify Germany is beginning to pay off.
  • The Brits are unhappy - which tends to make Germans smile just a little.
  • Germans can also smugly say "I told you so" to the US about Iraq.
All in all, Germans may have to put up with uplifted attitudes for the foreseeable future.

Thank goodness the euro is too strong for me to afford to visit.

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