In February 2019, the German economy – if not paralysed (as in the last month, cf. here) – presented disappointing early indicators such as orders and production while other (rather lagging) indicators such as unemployment or corporate insolvencies still show record-low-levels. Let’s look at the development in more detail:
The “Brexit”, i.e. the formal withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union, due to take place at midnight on 29 March 2019, is not only casting its shadows in company and insolvency law. In view of the current, rather confused situation, companies can no longer wait for the outcome of the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The time needed to implement measures that have been identified as relevant means that they must act now – and actually they act, as the example of the car manufacturer Honda shows, who wants to close down his English plant completely – probably also against the background of a free trade agreement between the EU and Japan (here).
The following article examines the current political/economic situation in order to derive general recommendations and concrete consequences for the (resilient) preparation of companies in the area of company and insolvency law.
Although indications that the German economy ended 2018 in negative territory kept piling up (cf. here for the previous month), the sentiment indicators’s downward path of earlier months accelerate in sync with the industrial production and orders, Destatis just announced that the German economy “only” stalled in the last quarter of 2018. Let’s look at the development in more detail:
If a third party (not obliged to do so) settles liabilities of the (future) insolvency debtor from its own resources, the question arises as to whether such payments may be avoidable under German insolvency law. At present, this question is repeatedly raised by the insolvency administrator in the context of a larger insolvency procedure in Berlin. Reason enough to take a closer look at the current case law.
First of all, I wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope that you had a Merry Christmas with some time to lay back and relax after a year of relentless growth in Germany. The new year, though, does not paint a too glossy picture: Not all figures are in, but it seems that the economy stopped growing at the end of 2018. Also the sentiment-indicators are now facing south in sync and for months in a row and the DAX has reached “bear-territory” at the end of the year.
The implicit forecast of my last monthly report, “southbound” (cf. here) has not really materialised in November. Although leading pundits reduced their forecast for German growth and the DAX did lose another roughly 200 points, exports remain rather strong, unemployment figures are unbelievably low, etc. Hence, also the decline takes some time. But see for yourself:
After all the drama about the tax exemption for so-called “turnaround profits” (“Sanierungsgewinne“, (see more details here), the legislator – after a positive statement of the EU Commission last summer (cf. here) – is currently implementing the “reorganisation decree in legal form” (“Sanierungserlass in Gesetzesform“) within the framework of the so-called “Annual Tax Act 2018” (now referred to … more
Yep, as predicted in my last monthly report, “(economic) autumn” (cf. here) has finally arrived in Germany. Amid political tensions after Chancellor Merkel announced here demise as leader of Germany’s conservative party, there is mounting evidence that the German economy has peaked somewhere in the previous months. But let’s have a closer look at the details:
Five years after its entry into force in March 2012, the practical relevance of the “Act for the Further Facilitation of the Restructuring of Enterprises” (“Gesetz zur weiteren Erleichterung der Sanierung von Unternehmen“, “ESUG“) has recently been evaluated, as required by the prior enactment. The more than 350-page final report of the team of experts consulted by the Federal Government comes to the conclusion that the insolvency practice has largely positively accepted the changes introduced by the ESUG and that a return to the earlier provisions does not seem to be indicated. However, the report proposes changes on individual issues. So far, so good – and not surprising. But what does this mean for the further development of the desired “turnaround culture” in Germany?
Well, the German economy is currently doing well, when you look at the figures for exports, unemployment or industrial orders. However, from the perspective of inflation or industrial production it does not look to great. The outlook for the foreseeable future, however, seems to be rather measly, if you agree with our government. Hence, after a not-so-clear August (here), the September might prove to be the start of an economic autumn, as the following figures show: