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新兴市场需求不振,德国经济告急

更新时间:2016-4-7 10:17:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

German Economy, Once Europe’s Leader, Now Looks Like Laggard
新兴市场需求不振,德国经济告急

FRANKFURT — China is cutting back on mining machinery as its economy slips. The United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries are no longer awash in oil money, putting luxury car brands at risk. Russia, still facing Western sanctions, cannot buy as much high-tech energy equipment.

法兰克福——中国在经济不景气之际,削减了购置采矿机械的费用。阿拉伯联合酋长国等中东国家的石油收入不再数不胜数,令豪车品牌前景堪忧。俄罗斯仍旧面临西方的制裁,无法购买多少高科技能源设备。

The downshift in the emerging markets is leaving Germany vulnerable — and, by extension, Europe.

新兴市场增长放缓让德国乃至整个欧洲都变得很脆弱。

As many businesses in the region struggled just to tread water in recent years, German companies prospered by selling the goods and technology that emerging countries needed to become more modern economies. As they did, Germany’s strength served as a counterweight to the economic malaise, financial turmoil and Greek debt drama that dragged down many European countries.

近年间,欧洲的很多企业都在挣扎求存,德国企业却通过出售新兴国家发展成为更现代化的经济体所必须的产品和技术而兴旺发达。由于德企的兴旺发达,德国经济在很多欧洲国家都被经济衰退、金融风暴和希腊债务危机拖住脚步之际稳住了局势。

Now, Germany, which accounts for the largest share of the European economy, is looking like the laggard. Compared with the economies of other countries in the region, Germany’s has been more deeply tethered to emerging markets. And the political climate is only adding to the uncertainty, as Germany deals with a wave of migrants and a potential exit of Britain from the European Union.

如今,德国作为欧洲最大的经济体,似乎正在成为拖后腿的那一方。与该地区的其他国家相比,德国经济和新兴市场的联系最为紧密。此外,德国正在应对移民潮和英国退出欧盟的可能性,这种政治氛围只会让不确定性有增无减。

Against that backdrop, the country’s export engine is sputtering, while business confidence is eroding.

在上述背景下,德国的商业信心受到了损害,其出口引擎在重压下开始发出喘息之声。

During the good times, the German manufacturer Eickhoff Bergbautechnik sold 20 machines a year as China dug ever more coal mines to feed its energy-hungry factories. The machines, shearer loaders that use giant spinning claws to scrape coal or potash from underground seams, sell for up to 4 million euros, or about $4.6 million apiece.

经济景气的时候,中国为了满足那些能源紧缺的工厂的需求,所开采的煤矿越来越多,德国制造商艾柯夫采矿技术有限公司(Eickhoff Bergbautechnik)一年能卖出20套机械设备。每套设备——即采煤机,可以利用旋转的巨爪把煤或者钾盐从地下矿层中开采出来——售价高达400万欧元,约合460万美元。

Last year, the company sold just eight. With profit dropping, Eickhoff laid off about 10 percent of its local work force of 300.

去年,该公司只卖出了8套设备。由于利润下滑,艾柯夫裁掉了300名本地雇员中的10%。

“We are going from an unbelievable boom to a down phase,” said Karl-Heinz Rieser, the managing director of Eickhoff.

“我们正从令人难以置信的繁荣期过渡到萧条期,”艾柯夫的董事总经理卡尔-海因茨·里泽(Karl-Heinz Rieser)说。

Less torrid sales at Eickhoff and hundreds of other midsize German exporters translate into slower overall economic growth. Suppliers of mining equipment generated exports of 6.2 billion in 2012, according to the German Engineering Federation, an industry group. Last year, those exports fell to 3.5 billion, a trend that has played out in a number of industries.

艾柯夫以及数百家中型德国出口商的销售业绩都不像以前那样火爆,这意味着经济总体增速在放缓。行业组织德国机械制造商联合会(German Engineering Federation)称,采矿设备供应商在2012年创造了62亿欧元的出口收入。去年,它们创造的出口收入下降到了35亿欧元,这种趋势在许多行业里都有所显现。

As exports have slipped, the mood in Germany has turned glum.

在出口下滑之际,德国的氛围也变得沉郁起来。

Pessimists outnumbered optimists in February for the first time since late 2014, according to the survey of business managers by the Ifo Institute in Munich, which is considered a reliable predictor of the growth. Although there was a small uptick in March, manufacturers remain wary. If confidence remains weak, they are likely to cut back plans to invest in new equipment or hire people, prompting growth to slow.

慕尼黑的德国经济信息研究所(Ifo Institute)针对企业经理人的调查显示,今年2月,持悲观态度者超过了持乐观态度者,这在2014年末以来尚属首次。该研究所的调查结果一向被当成经济增长的可靠风向标。商业信心指数在3月份有所弹,但制造商们仍保持谨慎。如果信心依然不足,它们有可能减少用于购买新设备的支出,或者削减用人计划,这会让经济增速继续下降。

A weaker German economy would have political consequences for Europe.

疲软的德国经济可能会给欧洲政坛带来影响。

As much as other Europeans like to bash the Germans, it is doubtful that the eurozone could have survived its recent debt crisis without Germany’s checkbook. Germany contributes more than a quarter of the financing for the European Stability Mechanism, the new bailout fund used to prevent the total collapse of countries like Greece.

尽管其他欧洲人很喜欢抨击德国人,但如果没有德国的支票簿,欧元区能否挺过近两年的债务危机是值得怀疑的。德国为新成立的、旨在防止欧盟成员国像希腊那样崩盘的救助基金——“欧洲稳定机制”(European Stability Mechanism)——提供了超过四分之一的资金。

For producers around the eurozone, German shoppers also filled the void left by struggling Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese. When auto sales entered a deep slump beginning in 2009, Germans bought not only Volkswagens and Mercedeses but also Italian Fiats and French Renaults.

此外,对欧元区各地的生产商而言,德国买家曾经填补过挣扎求存的西班牙人、意大利人和葡萄牙人留下的空缺。当汽车销售从2009年开始进入低谷的时候,德国人不仅会买大众(Volkswagens)车和奔驰(Mercedeses)车,还买了意大利人的菲亚特(Fiats)车和法国人的雷诺(Renaults)车。

“It’s the biggest market in Europe,” Thierry Koskas, the executive vice president of sales at Renault, said in an interview. “Due to the weight of this market, it’s big volume for us and it’s important.”

“它是欧洲最大的市场,”雷诺集团销售部执行副总裁蒂埃里·科斯考什(Thierry Koskas)接受采访时说。“鉴于这个市场的权重,对我们来说它的体量很大,它很重要。”

The changing economic picture also threatens to undercut the influence of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

正在变化的经济格局还可能让德国总理安格拉·默克尔(Angela Merkel)的影响力受到损害。

The country’s financial strength has made it the dominant political power. Though protesters in Greece were known to burn effigies of Ms. Merkel over her harsh austerity policies, she helped impose a measure of discipline among bickering eurozone leaders.

德国凭借自己的财力成为了占据主导地位的政治大国。虽然希腊的抗议者在默克尔实施严厉的紧缩政策期间公开烧毁了她的画像,但她帮助在争吵不休的欧洲领导人中间建立了某种纪律。

But there has been a tonal shift in recent months.

不过,近几个月来,情况有了变化。

Austria and other countries have defied Ms. Merkel’s wishes on how to handle the influx of refugees from Syria. While she wanted to preserve Europe’s openness, her counterparts instituted border controls.

奥地利等国家公开反对默克尔想要采取的应对叙利亚难民潮的措施。她想要保持欧洲的开放性,其他国家的领导人却在推行边境管控措施。

“Germany’s political standing in Europe has declined in the last number of quarters from a position of undisputed hegemony just to one where they are the most important country,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It has been more difficult for Berlin to herd the cats.”

“近几个季度以来,德国在欧洲政治地位有所下降,它原本是欧洲无可争议的霸主,现在却只是欧洲最重要的一个国家,”华盛顿彼得森国际经济研究所(Peterson Institute for International Economics) 高级研究员雅各布·芬克·柯克加德(Jacob Funk Kirkegaard)说。“柏林方面聚拢‘散沙’的工作变得更为棘手了。”

During the last decade, Germany has been something of a shopping mall for developing countries. If a country was mechanizing its farms, German companies like Claas made the tractors and grain harvesters. If a country needed a factory to produce liquid oxygen or one to bottle beer, German companies like Linde or Krones could design, equip and build the whole plant.

过去10年间,德国有点儿像为发展中国家而设的大型购物中心。如果一个国家想要推行农业机械化,科乐收(CLAAS)等德国公司会为其制造拖拉机和谷物收割机。如果一个国家需要生产液态氧或者灌装啤酒的工厂,林德( German)、克朗斯(Krones )等德国企业可以为其设计、装备、建造整个工厂。

Soaring demand from China, as well as places like Russia, Brazil and Kazakhstan, made Germany nearly impervious to the woes of its neighbors. While more than one-fifth of the work force in Spain is jobless, German unemployment has fallen to only 4.3 percent, lower than that of the United States. When Eickhoff, the mining company, had to lay off workers, many of them found jobs at sister companies.

来自中国、俄罗斯、巴西和哈萨克斯坦的需求急剧增加,令德国几乎完全没机会体验其邻国所遭受的那种困境。当西班牙的失业率超过25%的时候,德国的失业率跌至仅4.3%,比美国还低。当采矿技术公司艾柯夫不得不裁员的时候,许多被裁掉的人在其兄弟公司里找到了工作。

China has been particularly good to German automakers, and therefore to the whole country. Autos are Germany’s biggest export and one of the most important sources of jobs. China last year became the biggest market for the German sports car maker Porsche, surpassing the United States for the first time.

中国对德国汽车制造商乃至整个德国尤为友好。汽车是德国最重要的出口产品,也是该国工作岗位的主要来源。去年,中国首次超过美国,成为德国跑车制造商保时捷(Porsche)的最大市场。

But there are signs of trouble. Growth in the Chinese auto market is expected to be around 4 percent this year, half what it was last year. “We will continue to grow,” Detlev von Platen, the head of sales for Porsche, said in an interview. “But not as quickly as before.”

但现在有迹象表明,麻烦来了。据预计,中国汽车市场今年的增长率是4%,只有去年的一半。“我们的销售额会继续增长,”保时捷的销售业务负责人德特勒夫·冯·普拉滕(Detlev von Platen)接受采访时说。“不过增速不像以前那样快。”

The Middle East is another boom market turned troubled. Civil war in Syria and plunging oil prices have hurt the confidence and buying power of countries like Kuwait.

中东是另外一个原本生机勃勃、现在却遇到麻烦的市场。叙利亚内战和暴跌的油价损害了科威特等国家的商业信心和购买力。

German exports to oil-producing countries fell 7 percent last year. The decline hurt sales of companies like Voith, based in Heidenheim in southern Germany, which produces motors used to pump large quantities of oil in refineries or drilling sites. “Customers in these industries are postponing or stopping investments,” said Dirk Böckenhoff, a spokesman for Voith.

去年,德国对产油国的出口额下降了7%。这让福伊特(Voith)等公司的销售额受到了拖累。福伊特的总部位于德国南部城市海登海姆,其马达产品被用于在炼油厂或钻探地点泵送大量石油。“来自这些行业的客户正在推迟或停止投资,”福伊特的发言人德克·贝肯霍夫( Dirk Böckenhoff)说。

No matter where German executives look, they struggle to identify any region that is booming the way that China did until recently.

不论德企高管望向何处,他们都难以看到像不久前的中国那样正在蓬勃发展的区域。

Growth in the United States is looking mixed. Brazil is in the midst of a severe recession. And Russia has suffered from low commodity prices and political tension with the West.

美国的发展状况似乎有好有坏。巴西正在经历严重的衰退。俄罗斯因为低廉的大宗商品价格和与西方国家紧张的政治关系而备受困扰。

Iran poses an opportunity, since sanctions have been lifted and the country has been opening up. German companies are rushing to exploit the new market. The engineering and electronics giant Siemens last month signed an agreement to deliver electricity-generating equipment to Mapna, an Iranian power and transportation conglomerate.

伊朗存在机会,因为制裁已经被解除,该国已经打开国门。德国企业正蜂拥而入,开发这个新市场。上个月,机械制造及电子巨头西门子(Siemens)与伊朗的电力及运输集团MAPNA签订了一份协议,将为后者提供发电设备。

But Iran, with an economy smaller than Turkey’s, is not big enough to support German growth. And German companies will probably have to adapt to a growth rate that is closer to the mediocre eurozone average of about 1 percent — making it a member of the pack rather than the leader.

但经济体量小于土耳其的伊朗,不足以支撑德国的增长。欧元区的平均经济增速是1%左右,德国公司恐怕不得不适应与这一平庸数字接近的增长率——这会让德国从欧元区的领导者变成普通一员。

Mr. Rieser, the maker of coal mining equipment, says his company is reacting to the slowdown by introducing machines for different segments of the market. He does not expect to have to cut any more jobs.

经营煤矿开采设备的里泽说,为了应对经济减速,他的公司正在推出针对不同细分市场的机械。他预计公司不会进一步裁员。

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