By relying on exports and not promoting domestic demand, Germany is creating a lopsided recovery that is hurting retailers and foreign exporters.
While Germany's exports continue to surge, its consumers are refusing to spend. The government has failed to raise wages or encourage consumption and says it has few plans to do so.
"By cutting its budget deficit and resisting a rise in wages to compensate for a decline in the purchasing power of the euro, Germany is actually making it more difficult for other countries to regain competitiveness," billionaire investor and cofounder of the Quantum Fund George Soros said in a speech on June 23 in Berlin. Germany is "the main protagonist" for Europe's debt crisis, he added.
Germany's economy – four times more reliant on exports than is the United States – posted the highest second-quarter growth in the Eurozone, growing by 2.2% in the second quarter from the first. The country is headed for about 9% growth this year.