A weaker German economy, which is showing up in the latest government economic statistics, appears partially due to its newly embraced energy strategy but also due to a weakening global economy. The shift in the nuclear power strategy caused significant financial damage to the country's power companies and the cost of this policy shift is now impacting energy costs for Germany's manufacturing sector, the key source of the country's export strength. Germany is the world's fifth-largest economy measured on purchasing power parity and is the globe's second-largest exporting economy, only recently having been passed by China. The economy's export strengths are in machinery, vehicles, chemicals and household equipment.
The nuclear power plant phase out decision has created severe financial hardships for Germany's power companies.