Germany has been an attractive target for external-deficit countries in Europe and beyond, but beating up on Germany alone appears to be the wrong way to get results. This CEPS Commentary by Daniel Gros argues that the discussion of Germany’s surplus confuses the issues in two ways. First, he points out that although the German economy and its surplus loom large in the context of Europe, an adjustment by Germany alone would only modestly benefit the eurozone periphery. Second, in the global context, he finds that adjustment by Germany alone would benefit many countries a little, but other surplus countries including Russia, China and Japan, would benefit disproportionally.
Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.