To get a better idea of what lies ahead for the German economy, you can go out and talk to executives in the automotive industry and scholars of the economy; you can study inflation data and share prices. But it's probably also enough just to take a look at an indispensable, everyday product: toilet paper.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the product served as a gauge of the level of Germans' anxiety. The steeper the rate of infection, the emptier the shelves. Manufacturers of the hygiene product were even among the beneficiaries of the pandemic. Now, worries are once again growing across the country about potential shortages of toilet paper, only this time for completely different reasons. Hakle, a household brand name in Germany founded almost 100 years ago, last week filed for bankruptcy in self-administration.