In autumn, the researchers were still expecting minus 0.3 per cent. The ifo Institute has also raised its forecast for the increase in economic output for the year 2022: to plus 1.8 per cent from the previous plus 1.6 per cent. “The third quarter of 2022, in particular, was much better than expected, with plus 0.4 per cent. In the two-quarters of the winter half-year 2022/23, the gross domestic product does shrink, but thereafter, things start to pick up again,” says the head of ifo forecasts, Timo Wollmershäuser. In 2024, the economy will then grow again by 1.6 per cent.
The inflation rate will fall from 7.8 per cent this year to 6.4 per cent next year. Both figures are significantly lower than assumed in autumn because they now consider the electricity and gas price break. For 2024, the institute expects 2.8 per cent. The high price increase will cause the real disposable income of private households to fall, especially in the winter half of the year, and thus cool the economy. It is only in the second half of the year that incomes are expected to rise more strongly than prices, and private consumption is expected to pick up.
Short-time work is likely to rise again temporarily in the winter half-year. At the same time, the increase in employment will largely come to a standstill and will only pick up sluggishly again in the further forecast period. The increase in the number of people in work is expected to slow from about 554,000 in 2022 to 77,000 in 2023 and 80,000 in 2024. Unemployment is expected to rise by 84,000 next year and fall by 117,000 in 2024. The unemployment rate thus rises from 5.3 per cent in the current year to 5.5 per cent in 2023 and falls again to 5.3 per cent in 2024. All this assumes that there will be no gas shortage in the next two years.