FRANKFURT — In Germany , where one in four jobs depends on exports, the crisis gumming up the world's supply chains is weighing heavily on the economy, which is Europe's largest and a linchpin to global commerce. Recent surveys and data point to a sharp slowdown of the German manufacturing powerhouse, and economists have begun to predict a "bottleneck recession." Almost everything that German factories need to operate is in short supply, not just computer chips but also plywood, copper, aluminum, plastics and raw materials like cobalt, lithium, nickel and graphite, which are crucial ingredients of electric car batteries. The auto industry has been hit the hardest. Opel, a unit of Stellantis, the company that owns Jeep and Fiat, said in September that it would shut down a factory in Eisenach until next year because of a shortage of semiconductors. The plant's 1,300 workers will be furloughed. More than 40 percent of German companies said they had lost sales because of supply problems in an August survey by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce. Europewide, exports would have been 7 percent higher in the first six months of the year if not for supply bottlenecks, according to… Read full this story
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