Germany has launched a two-pronged attack on U.S. President Donald Trump’s charge that its current account surplus is too high — don’t blame us for being good at what we do, and our aging population is going to eat it all up anyway.
The finance ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday that as Germany’s society ages fast, its swelling senior population will be more inclined to spend at home rather than save abroad, boosting consumption and shrinking the surplus.
“In a society where aging is growing, savings — including capital invested abroad –- will fall as pensioners use that to finance their consumption in Germany,” it said. “This will probably reduce the current account surplus and could even turn it into a deficit.”
At the same time, it said that the surplus — which irks the International Monetary Fund and many in Europe as well — was the result, frankly, of Germany being better than others at business.
It said it was down to the competitiveness of the German economy over which the government had no influence. “The current account in Germany is not controlled by the state,” the ministry said.
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