German Elections And Europe’s Economy: Five Things You Need To Know

Cross-border B2C E-Commerce is popular in Spain; consumers there shop online from overseas websites and Spanish online shops sell abroad. In Central Europe Germany shows double-digit growth in B2C E-Commerce. In Germany, B2C E-Commerce sales reached several tens of billions of euros in 2012 and showed double digit growth over 2011. As a share of total retail sales, B2C E-Commerce accounted for several percentage points less than 10% in 2012, and the share is expected to increase by one percentage point in 2013. The most used payment methods for online shopping in Germany are invoice and PayPal, a contrast with many other European E-Commerce markets where bank cards are the most popular payment method. US based mass-merchant Amazon is the largest E-Commerce player, while the Germany based Otto Group continues expansion into domestic as well as international B2C E-Commerce. German online retailers benefit from popularity with shoppers in neighboring Austria. Eastern Europe sees higher rate of growth in online sales. B2C E-Commerce in Russia grew by over a quarter in 2012, reaching a double digit figure in billions of euros. Further expansion in the online retail market is expected. Some product categories, such as household goods, cosmetics and auto parts have shown recent growth of over 50%. The clothing segment, including such players as Lamoda and Kupivip, has attracted large investments from overseas as well as domestic investors. The largest online retailer, mass merchant Ozon, increased its sales by a high double digit figure above 50%. The growth of the Russian B2C E-Commerce market has attracted the attention of foreign players, with Asos launching a local website and Amazon opening a local office in the Spring of 2013. 1.

government to spend money runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, and a small number of Tea Party-backed U.S. senators have been threatening to stall a bill to renew the funding. The market has also been fretting about next month’s negotiations in Washington to raise the federal debt ceiling to prevent a default, as well as the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s stimulus measures after the Fed decided not to scale back the measures last week. “Investors are still confused about the Fed’s monetary policy, and now the focus is switching to negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Washington. After such a rally, people are now very cautious,” said Guillaume Dumans, co-head of research firm 2Bremans. The Fed’s quantitative easing programme has been a major factor behind the global equity market rally of the past year, which has propelled European shares to a 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio of 13, a level not seen since October 2009, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream. The broad STOXX Europe 600 is up about 5 percent so far this month, on track to post its best monthly performance in two years, and its best month of September since 1997. The sharp rise in the valuation ratio, however, suggests that the equity rally has been more about excess liquidity in the financial markets than underlying company profit growth. Data shows that analysts continue to steadily downgrade earnings forecast for European companies, with the region’s earnings momentum – upgrades minus downgrades as a percentage of total – currently at minus 2.9 percent. Riccardo Designori, analyst at Brown Editore, in Milan, said risks remain for stocks, but on a relative basis, the asset class offer the most value when compared with fixed income. “Despite the risk of seeing a pull-back in the short-term, stocks are still the best place to be, and within equities, European stocks offer the best upside potential,” he said.

Soldiers take cover after gunfire near the mall on September 23. Kenyan paramilitary police officers patrol the area near the mall on Sunday, September 22. Soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces arrive outside the Westgate Mall on September 22. A woman shields a baby as a soldier stands guard inside the Westgate Mall on Saturday, September 21. A rescue worker helps a child outside the mall. People who had been hiding inside the mall during the gunfire flee the scene. An armed official takes a shooting position inside the mall. An armed official crouches on September 21. Bodies lie on the ground inside the mall. Men help a wounded woman outside the mall. Officials carry an injured man in the mall.

This is reflected in upbeat readings for business confidence and a 75% appreciation for the Xetra Dax, the nation’s main bluechip stock index. While unemployment soared in the eurozone and in the U.S. after 2008, Germany’s jobless tally decreased. READ MORE: How Merkel become more American Has crisis split Europe in two? Economists have also argued Germany’s exports benefit greatly from being priced in a currency that is much weaker than the Deutsche Mark would otherwise have been. Barroso: Europe not out of crisis However, large numbers of people are reliant on low-paid “mini-jobs” which leave them struggling to make ends meet. The Social Democrats are calling for a national minimum wage to combat the problem of the “working poor.” Human toll of economic crisis The OECD warned recently that the gap between rich and poor in Germany was wider than in any of the group’s member states, which include the U.S. and Mexico. How did Merkel survive while the rest fell? As only the third person in post-war times to win three terms in office — joining Helmut Kohl and Konrad Adenauer — Merkel has cemented her place in the history books. She is now positioned to topple Margaret Thatcher from the top spot as most powerful female politician of all time. Her style has been bred from her upbringing under communist rule in East Germany. The ever-present secret police — the Stasi — taught her the importance of discretion and knowing when to speak up or not. Her background in the sciences fed her analytical mind, and she is methodical and logical in solving problems. READ MORE: Is Germany playing beggar-my neighbor?

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