Talking point
Minimum wage: First negative effects become visible
Roughly 100 days have passed since the introduction of the minimum wage, and the Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles is already calling it a success story. However, we would urge caution given the considerable time lags with the effects of the minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour. In the medium term, we continue to expect clearly negative effects on employment and a missing of the targets of a more just income distribution and fiscal relief. In the medium term, we still expect a negative employment effect of 800,000 persons in line with our ex-ante study "Minimum wage of EUR 8.50 per hour: Grand Coalition on the wrong track". [more]
Germany
Focus Germany: German savers challenged by QE
The financial situation of German households continued to improve markedly in 2014. The good income situation enabled them to make new investments to the tune of EUR 160 bn. In addition, the valuation gains on existing financial assets came to EUR 53 bn. Overall, total gross household financial assets thus increased from EUR 5 tr to EUR 5.2 tr (180% of GDP). Nothing has fundamentally changed with regard to the minimal risk appetite of German investors; risk-bearing investments still constitute less than 25% of financial assets. However, their share of new investments climbed to 11%. Furthermore, in 2014 EUR 20.5 bn of new debt was taken on. Both developments have probably been heavily influenced by the low-interest rate environment and are likely to continue in 2015 given the monetary policy outlook.  [more]
European integration
A profile of Europe’s populist parties: Structures, strengths, potential
Populist parties are gaining momentum in countries across Europe. Their profiles may be fundamentally different, but they are united in rejection of further steps towards European integration. Despite successes at national level, no noteworthy influence has been wielded by Eurosceptic parties at the European level to date. However, populist parties could shape European politics in the future by blocking progress in political areas that require broad consensus in particular. Established parties could then be forced to follow a course aligned more strongly with putative national interests. This could mean that reforms are not implemented on time or in full, thus preventing the required further development of the institutions of the eurozone. [more]
Spotlight on Germany
 
 
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