German bosses are depressed

“We are at a dangerous point,” worries Arndt Kirchhoff, boss of the employers’ association in North Rhine-Westphalia and one of three brothers who run Kirchhoff, a maker of car components. Germany recently slipped into a technical recession. Many companies are investing abroad rather than at home. Chinese consumers are importing less after the lifting of pandemic restrictions than German manufacturers had been hoping. And Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russian invaders is injecting uncertainty into Germany’s backyard.

In May an index of business confidence from the Ifo Institute, a think-tank, fell for the first time in seven months (see chart). On June 5th manufacturers’ gloomy mood became darker

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