Exploring Germany's Economic Outlook and the iShares MSCI Germany ETFGeneral Discussion 2 replies 0 likes 0 votes 1218 views
Germany has entered a technical recession as of the first quarter. Turns out, they hit a bit of a rough patch and entered a technical recession in the first quarter. But hey, it's not all bad news! Despite some challenges in manufacturing, there are definitely some positive signs to keep an eye on.
You know what's cool? Auto manufacturing and capital goods are expected to bounce back. Supply chain constraints are easing up, and energy prices are dropping, which should give these sectors a nice boost. Plus, the consumer side of things is holding up pretty well. People have managed to save up some cash during the pandemic, wages are steadily growing, and food prices are slowing down. So, there's a good chance we'll see a rise in household spending.
Now, let's talk about the iShares MSCI Germany ETF (EWG). It's a nifty option for US investors who want a piece of the German market. This ETF tracks the performance of the MSCI Germany Index, which includes big and mid-sized German companies. It does come with a somewhat higher expense ratio of 0.5%, but it's a solid way to get in on that single-country action.
The ETF's portfolio is spread out across different sectors, with industrials, consumer discretionary, and financials being the top dogs. Those three alone make up about 79% of the total portfolio, so they definitely carry some weight. And when it comes to individual holdings, you'll find companies like SAP SE, Siemens AG, and Allianz SE up there.
Let's talk performance now. The EWG has had its fair share of ups and downs, but overall, it's been churning out positive returns. Year-to-date, it's up by 11.1%, and over the past ten years, it's held strong at 3.9%.
Here's something interesting: the fund has managed to consistently dish out distributions, even during the wild ride of the pandemic. The trailing twelve-month yield currently sits at 2.7%, and as things continue to improve post-COVID, long-term investors might just reap some nice rewards.
Sure, Germany's been in a recession, but let's not get too caught up in the negativity. Despite weaker manufacturing data, companies like Mercedes-Benz and Siemens, which are key players in the EWG, have actually exceeded expectations. Supply chains are getting back on track, and consumer confidence remains strong. Retail sales have been rocking it in various categories too.
So, don't sweat the German recession fears too much. Take a closer look at the positive side of things. With the EWG's large-cap portfolio expected to see earnings grow around 10% in 2024, the current valuation seems pretty attractive. The risk/reward balance is looking pretty good.