German economy now looks like the laggard

The country's export engine is sputtering, while business confidence is eroding amid slowdown elsewhere


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.

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

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...

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