By Jacob L. Shapiro
Summary Two weeks ago, we published an in-depth study of the troubles on the horizon for the German economy. But because it has Europe’s largest economy in terms of GDP, problems in Germany will not stay confined to Germany. Today, we take a closer look at what the repercussions will be for four countries whose economies are deeply intertwined with Germany: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In the short term, struggles in Germany will pose a challenge because of how integrated these countries are into Germany’s export regime. In the longer term, however, Germany’s struggles will be an opportunity for these Central European nations.
While Germany has relied on exports to fuel its economic growth for the past 15 years, the Visegrad Four (V4) countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – have done the same. They now make up a large industrial supply chain, and significant percentages of V4 exports to Germany are parts o