Note that there is no acceleration of growth, that has remained low since reunification with Helmut Kohl, and with the brief interregnum of Gerhard Schröder, the center-left (more on that below) leader of the social democrats in the early 2000s. The New York Times suggests, not incorrectly (at least on this) that she leaves many economic problems behind, but argue that those stem from lack of investment in education (the 'human capital' mantra) and on high-tech technologies. Note that investment often follows growth, and that has been anemic in Germany, and productivity follows growth, including in the high tech industries. It is demand driven. Merkel did not create the neoliberal model, but she certainly followed it.
Her legacy should be tied to the euro, and to Greece (I wrote quite a bit on Greece over the years; see here, and in the other blog here starting even earlier in 2010), and there her legacy of austerity, fiscal adjustment, which allowed Germany to maintain fiscal and current account surpluses (the measure of her success, I would guess), is an undeniable disaster. Greece GDP never recovered (see figure below; same source).
In other words, nobody should think that these is something to be emulated. The reason right-wing, photo fascist parties, like some of the craziest stuff that one can see in the United States are possible in Europe is because of the policies that she adopted. Of course, as I noted these policies precede her, and Kohl, the German version of Reagan and Thatcher deserves a lot of the credit, both as instrumental on the unification, which still has important implications for the levels of employment in the ex-Eastern Germany, and the policies that led to the euro. Of course, it took a social democrat, Schröder, to promote the labor market reforms (essentially, more flexible markets, making it easier to fire workers, and providing lower benefits for the unemployed) and a policy of wage compression.
And that brings us to Olaf Scholz, Merkel's finance minister, and the leader of the social democrats (which were in many ways a reference for the left globally at some point in the very distant past), which are uniformly described as center-left (NYTimes here). I will not spend too much time discussing that, but I would note that a left of center government must have policies to promote the wellbeing of the working class, including higher wages and something that resembles full employment. The German Social Democrats are not that. And if Mr. Scholz manages to form a coalition government, it will be with the Greens, which will push for degrowth (on that see this old post), and perhaps with the neoliberal Free Democratic Party, mostly people that have not seen a fiscal adjustment plan they did not like. So Merkel's legacy lives on.