Speaking at event in Shanghai, Steinbrück said dire warnings of a coming recession were “completely irresponsible” and that he could not see how a few pessimists could decide “on the basis of a single quarter of negative growth” that the German economy was heading for a serious downturn.
He said the German economy had become “considerably more resistant towards negative economic factors” in recent years. He defended the much maligned reforms known as “Agenda 2010” that were pushed through by former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, saying they had been crucial in keeping Germany's economy afloat during the current global financial crisis sparked by the subprime lending crisis in the United States.
But Steinmeier did caution that global inflation would remain a risk for the foreseeable future.
“In my opinion, the worldwide inflation is a problem that will occupy us for a longer period of time than the management of this financial crisis,” Steinbrück said.