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          Countries in Focus: Germany

          With the largest economy in Europe, Germany is seen as the most robust member of the EU. Its economy is dominated by its manufacturing industry, which employs around 8 million workers.

          It boasts one of the world’s largest export economies, known all over the globe for products such as BMW cars and Adidas trainers.

          However, the escalating trade dispute between the US and the EU has led to fears over its export growth. Similarly, there are concerns a large-scale dispute between the US and China could also impact Germany, whose manufacturers are dependent on growth from both markets.

          Wage growth has been sluggish over the past decade. However, in 2018 there were wage deals for millions of public sector workers, while plans to increase the minimum wage were also revealed.

          While it is unclear exactly how Brexit will impact Germany, the country has already started to see some positive wins with a number of financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and Barclays choosing to relocate some London-based operations to Frankfurt.

          The retail outlook

          Dominated by Amazon as well as home-grown players Zalando and Otto, retail continues to be a prominent industry.

          Ecommerce growth had been lagging behind other European countries, but online represents a significant opportunity; retail sales increased by 10.9% to €58.46bn (£51bn) in 2017, according to German ecommerce association BVEH.

          It’s worth noting, though, that Amazon currently holds a 25% market share of online sales. However, Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com has set its sights on the market, opening an offce there recently, and chief executive Richard Liu says it plans to establish its business there.

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          Hilary Ross

          • Head of Retail, Food & Hospitality // Executive Partner (London)

          Ed Meikle

          • Partner // Head of Retail Group

          Dominic Watkins

          • Partner // Head of Food Group