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Marc Schattenberg

More documents written by Marc Schattenberg

32 Documents
December 10, 2020
The COVID cycle and vaccination progress will drive the economy in 2021. We expect that infection rates will not come down decisively before Q2. By summer vaccination numbers should reach critical mass. A strong recovery starting in Q2 should yield an annual GDP increase of 4.5% after a 5.5% drop in 2020.
All attention on the super election year 2021: Germany is facing federal elections and multiple state elections. Our baseline scenario is a conservative-green government, but coalition talks will significantly test the willingness to compromise on both sides.
(Also in this issue: global trade and exports, private consumption, labour market, equipment and other investment, the German housing market, public finances, inflation, German industry's corona losses) [more]
November 2, 2020
Q3 GDP surprise: A rear mirror view – but obstacles right in front. With the partial lockdown during November, the economy will almost certainly see another negative quarter, even in an optimistic scenario where restrictions succeed in squashing new infections and will be completely abolished by the end of November. Prepare the German healthcare sector for regional bottlenecks – protect risk groups better: The number of patients in intensive care and hospital capacity is just as important as the number of new infections. We estimate that 400,000 acutely infected patients are the limit for intensive care units. (Also in this issue: inflation outlook, German labour market, corporate insolvencies, German auto industry, global construction industry, German corona policy, open borders in the EU) [more]
September 24, 2020
We have lifted our GDP forecast for 2020 to -5.5% and see the economy expanding by 4.5% in 2021. An important factor is that the rebound during Q2 – when GDP contracted by 9.7% – turned out more dynamic than expected. The momentum carried over into July. Even with some likely short-term moderation in August, we now expect Q3 GDP to increase by 6.0% qoq. Together with a 2.5% expansion in Q4, this should result in an annual GDP drop of “only” 5.5%, compared to the 9% expected in early May at the height of the pandemic in Europe. The higher carry-over lifts our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.5%, despite somewhat weaker momentum in H1 than expected earlier. (Also in this issue: labour market, bilateral exports, fiscal outlook 2020-22, German industry, the race for CDU leadership, and federal election prospects.) [more]
September 9, 2020
The corona crisis has forced many employees to work from home. A consensus seems to be emerging that this is becoming the new normal. Many companies have already offered their employees the option to work from home for several days per week, even post-COVID. An enforceable right for employees to work from home would imply that employers must compensate employees for the additional living space required for home offices. In this paper we analyse the long-term implications of such legislation. We find serious side effects, in particular for the real estate market and the labour market. [more]
August 10, 2020
Monthly data point to a strong pickup in economic momentum during the course of Q2, in part due to catch-up effects. Still, after the unprecedented 10.1% GDP contraction in Q2 we expect a 5% increase in Q3 followed by a 2% rise in Q4 (consensus: 5.2% and 2.4%). We now expect German GDP to contract by 6.4% (compared with -9% predicted in early May) followed by a 4% increase in 2021. Still, the pre-COVID output level will not be reached before mid-2022. The current exceptional volatility in monthly data and the further development of the global pandemic imply that the error margins remain exceptionally high. (Also in this issue: Merkel’s strength might become a burden for her potential successors.) [more]
June 26, 2020
How deep is your trough? Daily activity trackers suggest that the economy turned at the end of April as lockdown measures were gradually lifted. But we still expect a double-digit decline in Q2 GDP. The EUR 130 bn fiscal package was somewhat above our earlier expectations but does not change our GDP forecast, especially as still-prevailing pandemic uncertainties might curtail the economic impact of the package. But upside risks to our -9% GDP forecast for 2020 have (somewhat) increased. (Also in this issue: corona pandemic update, German public finances, global trade, German tourism during the corona crisis, German politics goes European) [more]
June 10, 2020
Germany has got COVID-19 under control faster than many other countries. It also recorded one of the lowest infection fatality rates among the G10 countries. The complete fiscal policy U-turn in response to COVID-19 induced economic damage should allow the German economy to weather this crisis better than many other countries – although the impact will still be massive. We have identified six structural features of the German society contributing to its superior collective resilience. Due to these features we expect the German recession in 2020 to be less severe than in most other industrial countries. This crisis resilience should also further improve Germany’s relative position among the major industrial economies once COVID-19 has been overcome. And this will increase pressure on Germany to play an even more supportive role within EMU/EU in the medium term. [more]
June 4, 2020
The coalition committee agreed on a so-called “Fiscal Stimulus and Crisis Management Programme”. The overarching goal of the programme is to boost the economy, secure employment, unleash Germany’s economic potential, mitigate the adverse economic and social consequences due to the crisis, strengthen the federal states and municipalities and, finally, give financial support to families. The promised rise in “future investment” is per se a good thing to boost the economy. Still, timely implementation could be an issue. Hence, these additional investments will help raising Germany’s growth potential but are unlikely to have any meaningful effects on economic growth in the short run. [more]
May 14, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, lockdown measures will push the German economy into its biggest slump since WW2. The COVID-19 pandemic hits German labour market differently than the Global Financial Market Crisis of 2009. First, it is acting almost simultaneously as a supply shock and, as a result of the measures to restrict contact, as a demand shock. Second, is the speed and the might with which it has brought the economy to a standstill in many areas of Germany and around the world. Third, private consumption will suffer the biggest blow. During previous periods of economic weakness, private consumption has always been a supporting pillar of the German economy and thus also provided a counterweight to employment losses in export-oriented companies. At present, however, the domestically oriented and personnel-intensive service sector is failing as a driver of employment. By April 26th, 751,000 companies had already registered for short-time work. This should imply an increase in the number of people actually on short-time work to up to 10 m. Despite the comprehensive measures to secure employment, which ultimately include support measures for companies, the number of unemployed persons is expected to climb to 3 m in 2020. Employment is likely to fall in 2020 by a good 1%. [more]
May 8, 2020
Weaker-than-expected March hard data and shocking April survey data point to a lower trough in economic activity than assumed so far. We now see Q2 GDP falling by 14% qoq, with the risks still skewed to the downside. In the 2009 recession, private consumption acted as a massive shock absorber. Given the lockdown, social distancing and a likely severe hit to income expectations, we expect private consumption to fall by 10% in 2020. The asynchronous global development of the COVID-19 pandemic and lasting impediments to global trade, will make the recovery, which began in May and will become more evident in H2, less dynamic than hoped for earlier. As a result, we expect German GDP to decline by 9% this year and to expand by about 4% in 2021. [more]
May 5, 2020
The corona crisis is currently overshadowing all other aspects of the German property market. On the assumption of a strong recovery in the second half of the year structural issues will return to the foreground and the pandemic will slow down, but not bring an end to the German property cycle. In this report we look into both the negative effects of the crisis and fundamental factors and assess the outcome for the German house and office market. A flight to safety and the potential increased immigration could have a positive impact in the medium term. [more]
April 20, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis raises the question of whether the increased shift towards working from home will ultimately reduce demand for office space. The longer the crisis continues, the more people will get used to long-distance co-operation – and the more efficient remote communication may become. However, employees and teams experience the corona crisis very differently. Much depends on how well a team worked together pre crisis. [more]