Hardly had we survived the Corona crisis when, hard on its heels, came a change of historical direction in the form of Russia’s war of aggression, the consequences of which can scarcely be predicted. One thing is certain: this war is changing the entire world and can even now be judged a turning point in modern history. Every day we follow the news and are shown in the evening how the front has changed during the day. We see, uncomprehendingly, the destruction of peoples homes, the lethality of war and the fleeing population. In addition to human suffering, we also see how this war puts our selfcognition in question. We see with great concern the rising – or rather exploding – energy prices. Gas, oil and electricity have never been more expensive, we are at the start of a new global energy crisis.
Dependence on Russian gas may accelerate the abandonment of fossil energy sources, but oil and, above all, natural gas cannot be replaced at short notice; this also applies, of course, to Russian natural gas. Rising prices will affect every domestic household in Germany and every company. Energy-intensive companies in particular must be prepared for higher costs. Germany’s largest steel producer thyssenkrupp has reacted initially with the announcement of short-time working as from April on. Other companies are not yet willing to commit themselves, but virtually all speak of growing uncertainty as far as the business forecasts in 2022 are concerned.
The economic researchers of the ifo Institute put it more succinctly: They predict less growth and higher inflation for Germany this year. Current figures envisage economic growth of between 2.2 and 3.1 percent this year. The ifo Institute had up to now forecast growth of 3.9 percent for 2022. And inflation will rise to figures between 5.1 and 6.1 percent. In other words: 2022 will be a year of record inflation.
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